The NBA is trying to grow the game of basketball in India, and the league will take a big step in 2019.
The Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers will play two preseason games in the country with nearly 1.4 billion people, the team and the league announced Thursday morning.
The games will take place Oct. 4 and 5 at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, an Indian-American born in Mumbai, issued a statement regarding the announcement: "The Sacramento Kings are proud to be playing in the first NBA games ever held in India. 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."
"Today is a historic day," says Mark Tatum, @NBA Deputy Commissioner, announcing the league will play its first official preseason games in India next October. The @SacramentoKings and the @Pacers in Mumbai on October 4, 5 in 2019. @ESPNIndia pic.twitter.com/wmrBkUl4ss— Manoj Bhagavatula (@ManojB90) December 20, 2018
Ranadive has pushed the NBA to play games in India for the last few years, and he's finally received his wish.