NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant and 3,459 children from India came together to set a Guinness World Record.
USA TODAY Sports
Six weeks after leading the Golden State Warriors to the franchise’s second NBA championship in three years, Kevin Durant went on a vacation.
But it wasn’t a vacation in the sense that he could unplug and disconnect.
Durant touched down in India for the first time in his life on Thursday, beginning a three-day trip designed to bolster the growth of basketball in the world’s second-most populated country.
A day later, Durant set a Guinness World Record for largest basketball lesson when he hosted a clinic for 3,459 Indian children from the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program. One group of players was onsite with Durant at the NBA Academy India — an elite training center in the Delhi National Capital Region for the top male and female prospects from across the country — while others participated via satellite from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
“Just the buzz around basketball here is growing and growing every single day, especially with this new beautiful academy that we have here, just the resources,” Durant, who became the first NBA player to visit the academy, told reporters before the clinic. “I think that’s going to help the kids grow, along with the access to the game, watching two games a day, watching highlights, getting up at six in the morning to watch a Finals game. That shows dedication, that shows passion and love. That’s only going to grow from time. Just be patient and you’ll see more and more.”
Durant also spent time coaching some of India’s top prospects and donating two new basketball courts to the Ramjas school in New Delhi as part of his foundation’s Build It and They Will Ball court renovation initiative.
“The demand for (basketball) is growing,” Durant said. “I think recognition from the NBA, just doing their research on what’s the biggest spots to expand our game, coming (to India) was a major move. Just having the opportunity to interact with the kids and see the potential that they have … it’s pretty cool to be the first (NBA player) to come over.”
The NBA Academy India, which opened in May, is one of many examples of the NBA’s initiative to encourage boys and girls across the globe…