"I think India got into this game late. It would need a tremendous head start. A lot of hard work and passion for the game is required. The focus should be on prioritizing the game among other sports. If this is done, over a period of time you will see great results," said Harris, an NBA Hall of Famer, who has nearly four-decade long coaching experience at the world-famous league.

Harris, who will be a guest of honor at the opening ceremony of the 64th National Basketball Championships on February 26,  said though China had started playing basketball long back it only took the game more seriously after their players started to compete in the professional circuit in the US.
"If you look at China, they made the sport their first love. In 2001, when a Chinese player entered the NBA for the first time it opened the doors for others. Chinese players thought they can also compete amongst the best in the world.”

“It changed the whole outlook of China towards the game," said Harris, who served as the coach of the Chinese national team in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"People started taking pride in basketball and the players were hungry to do better which lifted their performances at world stage,” he added.


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