Itís hard to survive in NBA: Howard

Orlando Magic's star player Dwight Howard is on a four-city tour to India to promote NBA and basketball. In an interview to The Indian Express, Howard says it may take long to see an Indian player in the NBA but training hard is the only way to get there.

What's the bigger plan in NBA's Indian promotion?

It's a long-term goal. India is a huge market and the NBA definitely wants to make the sport as globally popular as it is in the U.S.

What tips did you give the Indian team when you interacted with them in Bangalore?

I gather that most people in India are doctors and that's because Indians study a lot, they study all the time and achieve whatever they want to academically ó that's how we treat basketball, we train all the time. I taught them guards ó to block shots, get around the bigger guys, posed moves with them. If they train hard everyday, that's the only way to do it, they can do well at the Asian Games.

The Mahindra NBA league is now in place here. Is league system the only way to successfully develop basketball from the grassroots?

It's not just about having a league. You could start with basketball camps for training and fitness. You don't need to start from the top with a league, start from the bottom and work your way up.

You played 300-odd matches without an injury. What workout routine do you follow?

To discuss how I do it will take a whole day but there's no one workout. It's God's blessing, I pray a lot. Depending on the day, I put in two hours just to train, cardio, on-court exercises. In a sport where you can get injured just by jumping or running, I've to make sure I don't take in anything that can increase chances of injury, like alcohol.

... contd.

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