What’s former American high school baller-turned-Lottomatica Roma pro Brandon Jennings during his summer break now that his Milwaukee Bucks have been bounced from the NBA playoffs? Hanging out in India, of course!
Jennings is today scheduled to attend the NBA/Junior WNBA National Skills Challenge Finals, “culmination of the largest school-based initiative ever conducted by the NBA in India.” Indeed, the project cosponsored by HP involved clinics for some 500 Indian coaches and the teaching of “basketball and life skills” to schoolchildren in five cities.
The big league’s official ‘site notes that Jennings will be doing some basketball/life skills work in Mumbai tomorrow and Pune thereafter. In fact, NBA gives the Buck another accolade for his young career, noting that Jennings “will become the first NBA player to host an event in [Pune].”
Naturally, local media is feting Jennings’ arrival with some good coverage. News website DNA India has a nice bit in which the ex-Roma, among other topics, is quoted on the ubiquitous question of the differences between NBA and top European ball: “They play the game similar[ly] to us but their strategies are different. In the US, it’s all about the players and the stars, while in Europe, it is a complete team game. They are very passionate about sports and want victory at all cost.”
Jennings also speaks of his idol as a player, kind of a familiar-sounding name here at BallinEurope … “[Allen] Iverson was my hero when I was a kid and watched the matches on TV. The way he took it to the big players despite being short was inspiring. He gave others hope. He showed us that we do not need to be seven feet tall to play basketball. I am only six feet one inch, which is not very tall for the NBA, so he was defiantly (sic!) a hero for me.”