Am I invited: Trump asks Modi on NBA’s India debut in October

Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, India NBA debut, Indian Prime Minister, US President, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, basketball league
Houston: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump embrace after introductions during the "Howdi Modi" event Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at NRG Stadium in Houston. AP/PTI Photo(AP9_23_2019_000013B)

The high-profile basketball league NBA is making its India debut on October 4 and 5 and US President Donald Trump has brought the event into the spotlight by questioning Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “Am I invited Mr Prime Minister?”

Speaking at the Howdy Modi event in Houston, Texas, Trump expressed his interest in attending the game where the organisers are expecting a full house.

Trump said NBA will be America’s best exports to India.

“Very soon, India will have access to another world-class American product- NBA basketball. Wow, sounds good. Next week, thousands of people will gather in Mumbai to watch the first-ever, NBA basketball game in India,” Trump said.

“Am I invited Mr Prime Minister? I may come, be careful, I may come,” he quipped as Prime Minster Modi laughed.

The league would be eyeing a couple of pre-season games between Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers.

Also read: Howdy Modi

While the October 4 game is reserved for over 3,000 youth under the Reliance Foundation Junior Programme, the one on the next day is open to spectators.

An official source claimed 80 percent of the tickets for the October 5 game have been sold out on the opening day itself and now over 90 per cent tickets have been taken by the fans.

The source said that they are sure that all the tickets will be sold and fans will be at the venue in large numbers.

“Through the integrated #NBAInMyBackyard campaign, we will connect with fans…,” Diane Gouta, Vice President, Global Business Operations, NBA, told PTI on Monday.

“As part of the campaign, the series of on-ground activations will include NBA iconography projection on the Gateway of India on September 28 and 29, from October 1 to 3, Indias first-ever floating court will be unveiled 200 meters from the pier near Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

“Top Graffiti artists will paint the walls of Mumbai to celebrate the historic event and select Hip-Hop artists will compose an original soundtrack representing the campaign and perform live at select Social Offline lounges on Game days,” added Gouta.

(With inputs from agencies)

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