NBA Hall of Famer to visit India

Washington, Feb 17 (PTI) NBA Hall of Famer George "TheIceman" Gervin and two-time WNBA Champion Katie Smith will bein Mumbai and New Delhi next week to conduct basketballclinics as part of a sports diplomacy program of the AmericanState Department.

The two legendary players would visit India as part ofthe State Department''s Bureau of Educational and CulturalAffairs and the National Basketball Association''s2011 sports envoy program.

This would be the program''s first-ever joint trip toIndia.

The two players would be visiting Mumbai and New Delhifrom February 22 to March 2 to conduct basketball clinics withIndian youth, meet with university students, and participatein local community events, the State Department said.

"Sports diplomacy envoys build on Secretary of StateHillary Rodham Clinton''s vision of ''smart power diplomacy'',which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools �in this case the game of basketball � to bring people togetherand foster greater understanding among people and cultures,"the Department added.

In addition to the events in India, current and formerNBA and WNBA players will lead programs in the DominicanRepublic, Haiti, India, Jordan, Republic of the Congo,Uzbekistan, and Venezuela during the 2011 sports envoy season.

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