Who is Harrison Barnes?
The Kings are preparing to help represent the first North American sports league to play in India. One of their most recent players is heading there to promote the sport.
Harrison Barnes, who joined the Kings in February in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks, will visit the country to attend various events over the course of about a week, the team announced Friday. He’s scheduled to appear a number of venues in the Delhi territory and the city of Mumbai.
“This trip to India will be a great opportunity for me to get a sneak peek of the local culture before the upcoming preseason games in Mumbai this October,” the forward said in a statement released by the Kings. “I look forward to being a part of that historic event and I’m excited to help support the NBA’s various basketball development initiatives in India.”
According to the Kings, Barnes will stop in Delhi NCR on April 28 to attend the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA National Finals at The NBA Academy India. He’ll then go to Mumbai for television appearances on the Sony Ten networks’ NBA shows April 30, then return to Delhi on May 3 to attend the National Finals of the fourth ACG-NBA Jump, India’s national basketball talent search program.
Barnes’ visit comes before the Kings play the Indiana Pacers in two preseason contests Oct. 4-5 at NSCI Dome in Mumbai. The games will be broadcast live in India and will reach audiences in more than 200 countries and territories, according to the NBA.
“The Sacramento Kings are proud to be playing in the first NBA games ever held in India,” Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadive said in a statement released in December. “As an Indian-American, it is an honor to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised. The sport is experiencing tremendous growth in India and we are excited about continuing to expand the NBA’s reach to fans across the globe. The world wants to watch basketball and India is a fast-growing new frontier.”
Fans can visit nbaevents.com/indiagames for more information and to buy tickets, which will go on sale at a later date.
The Kings have streamed more than 125 games in India since Ranadive took ownership in 2013. In 2015, they became the first team to stream a game to India using virtual reality. In 2017, the Kings participated in the first Facebook Live stream of a regular-season NBA game when, on Sacramento’s fourth annual Bollywood Night, they hosted the Golden State Warriors. The broadcast reached 2 million fans in India.