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Headstart Arena announces INBL Pro to be played over 45 days in August & September with 6 Franchisees

2024-06-12 11:12:20 Sports


Headstart Arena India (HAI) has finally made the dream of every basketball buff in India come true today, bringing to an end the multi-decadal wait for a sport that is popular among many Indians to have its own professional league. INBL Pro, a six-franchise tournament, was formally announced at a press conference held in the city today. Rupinder Brar, Founder & Director of INBL, Dushyant Khanna, Founder & CCO of INBL, and Parveen Batish, CEO, INBL, addressed the media on the occasion. Former basketball player & Actor Ranvijay Singha & Bollywood Actor Disha Patani joined them for the press conference. An exhibition match between Australia's Frankston Blues NBL1 Team against a team of players from across India followed the announcement.

In his comments, Rupinder Brar, Chairman of Punvec Group and Founder/Director of INBL, said, "We are truly committed to a world-class professional league that catapults the game to the next level. We have envisioned Rs. 350 crore in investment over 5 years, which will include our contribution, other investors coming onboard, and multiple revenue streams out of INBLPro. Born to a basketball coach father in Punjab, the game holds a deep personal connect."

Added, Dushyant Khanna, Co-Founder & CCO, INBL, "International collaboration is paramount for the growth of any sport, and in India's case, we have seen up close how professional leagues are the best platforms to enable that. INBL Pro is open to partnering with any organization, individual, or corporate that will contribute towards realizing the larger vision. Our only motto is to make basketball grow in India."

Parveen Batish, CEO of INBL, passionately shared, "For me, basketball is not just a sport; it's a way of life that has infused every aspect of my personal and professional journey. Having worked at all levels of the sport in Australia, as a coach, a player, and administrator, and with some great institutions from Basketball Australia, Basketball Victoria to the NBL and local associations, I've gained invaluable experience. Being a basketball coach myself and having my daughters play at the professional level, the game runs in the family or in our veins literally. Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Meghalaya, and Delhi have a strong fan base for the sport. We expect the league to stabilize in the next 2-3 years. We have already shared the comprehensive plan we have for basketball's development in India, with the professional league at the apex of that pyramid. The investment commitment, the personal connect to the game that each of us in the core team has, and the long-term vision/commitment more than validates our credentials to be the torchbearers of the movement to grow basketball in India."

According to Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, former captain of the Indian basketball team, " I am incredibly excited about the launch of the INBL Pro. As a player, this is what we all have been waiting for. We want to play with the best in the world, and we want global coaches coming here from whom we can learn new techniques and best practices that will go a long way in enhancing our game. I look forward to playing with international players and for more Indian players like me to benefit from this league."

Ranvijay Singha, former basketball player, and actor, said, "I am here because of my love for the game of basketball. And it's great to see a dream coming true right before my eyes and being part of it. Kudos to the entire team at Headstart Arena for their tireless effort and commitment in making this happen, and I wish them the very best."

The league will feature a city franchise-based team model, drawing inspiration from the success of franchises in other sports leagues worldwide. In the first year, INBL Pro will comprise 6-city based teams of 15 players each, featuring both Indian and international talent. Players will be chosen through a fair and transparent auction process. Each team will need to have three development Indian players under 23 years and four international players, one of whom must be of Indian origin. This is to ensure budding talent get a platform besides ensuring the right blend of local and global talent. The league's structure includes a preseason hosted in home cities, a regular season played over 45 days in two central venues, and playoffs culminating in a grand finale over the weekend in Mumbai. The number of franchisee teams will scale as the league grows.

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