Mumbai will play host to the first-ever games played by National Basketball Association (NBA) teams in India. The Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings will face off in two pre-season games on October 4 and 5 at the NSCI Club indoor stadium.

The announcement was made by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco in Mumbai.

“This will be the first time India will play host to NBA’s pre-season games. In fact, this is not just the first NBA Games to be played in India but the first games by any international league,” said Tatum.

The Kings, under the leadership of the NBA’s first Indian-born majority owner and Mumbai-native Vivek Ranadive, currently features 2018 number two overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III, the number five overall draft pick in 2017, De’Aaron Fox and 2016’s number six overall draft pick Buddy Hield from Bahamas.

The Pacers’ roster currently features 2018 NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo, the 2016 NBA All-Rookie second team member Myles Turner and 2016’s number 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis from Lithuania.

In addition to the games, the league and its partners will conduct interactive fan activities, junior NBA youth basketball programming and NBA Cares community outreach events that will bring the NBA experience to fans in Mumbai.

Asked about the push for exploring India market, Tatum said “the real challenge is to keep the content relevant.

“Having this pre-season game is one of the major step in that direction,” he added.