The National Basketball Association’s team, the 76ers, hosted their annual Indian Heritage Day at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia April 8, organized by Mukesh and Pryia Roy. The New Jersey Leadership Program, a nonprofit with the mission of exposing South Asian youth to government and politics, was honored at the game.
The Indian Heritage Day started with a pre-game reception in which the 76ers’ Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil spoke about the excitement of basketball in the Indian American community and what the league is doing to further promote basketball in India.
Amit Jani, president of the New Jersey Leadership Program also spoke at the pregame reception. “We are at a crossroads today celebrating Indian Heritage Day at an NBA arena, because I think the notion is becoming more widespread that South Asian American youth do not just have to be doctors or engineers anymore, but they can play basketball in the NBA or have a successful career in government and politics,” he said. “This is what our mission at the New Jersey Leadership Program is all about and I hope more youth will apply to our Fellowship Program to learn more about what a career in government and politics entails.”
The NJLP board members including Jani, Vice President Kristian Stout, Treasurer Hamzah Abushaban, as well as 2016 Fellow Bharati Ganesh and 2017 Fellow Varun Seetamraju were then led onto the court and presented with a jersey.
Participants of the Indian Heritage Day festivities celebrated in a private suite with an Indian buffet. Attendees included community members from across the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York areas.
The Exodus Artistry Dance Company led by Rohit Gijare performed a Bollywood Fusion dance set during the halftime show.