New York: For the first time in international sports history, 12 Indian-origin athletes from around the globe will compete in the highest stakes basketball tournament in the world.
India Rising is fondly nicknamed “The Avengers of Brown Basketball” by co-founder, former assistant coach of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and current Egyptian national team head coach Roy Rana. The team is one of 64 competing in The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a single-elimination, eight-region competition that tipped off on June 22 in Syracuse, NY, on ESPN, which will award the 2022 champion $1 million. “I spent most of my life praying, waiting, hoping, dreaming to see people who looked like me on these sports channels, and I’m done waiting,” said Gautam Kapur, co-founder and general manager of India Rising and former strategy manager at the NBA. “Growing up, I was always tall and naturally gravitated to basketball, but didn’t really have any role models who looked like me. Now, there are more than 60 professional, Indian-origin ballers worldwide, and nobody knows they exist. India Rising, the new home for brown athletes, aims to change that.”
“There are a lot of talented guys on this team, and this is only the beginning,” said Josh Sharma, India Rising’s seven-foot forward and former Stanford University Cardinal. “So, I think this is going to be that stepping stone for not only everybody on the team but the next generation of Indian ballers so that the world recognizes the talent coming out of our community.”
This historic All-Star roster represents a diverse pool of talent from all corners of the world, including the NBA, G League, NBL (England, Australia), USports (Canada), 3×3 Leagues and multiple FIBA national teams.