In the fall of 2006, two major events happened that changed the course of history.
At the time, JD had been looking to expand his basketball school into India and was approached by the board of Chinar.org, an orphanage in Srinagar, Kashmir. They extended an invitation to visit and conduct a social program to aid in the psycho rehabilitation of the youth. From this, 'Hoops for Health' was born.
Simultaneously, a young man from Pune wrote JD a note expressing his dream to become the first Indian in the NBA.
In June 2007, JD agreed to visit Pune and show his skills and work with his club, Deccan Gymkhana. 200 participants from around the country showed up for the training that was sponsored by the Maharashtra State Basketball Association. Together they cracked coconuts to bless the court and started a new age in India basketball.
JD's web site news blasts were printed verbatim in the Maharastra newspapers. The press loved his foreigner descriptions of India. They asked about India and when they will be at the level of the USA in basketball. They asked about JD and his methods of teaching, 'basketball like dance', and his local cell phone that played Bollywood ring tones. The love affair began. . .
Once word spread, the US Consulate and Department of State in Mumbai came to collaborate with the Don Bosco School and Father Crispini to promote diplomacy and world peace through sport. Thirteen trips and three years later, jdBASKETBALL has operated all over India: Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Kerala, Bangalore, Midnapore, Punjab, Trivandrum, Midnapor, and Srinagar.
jdBASKETBALL has since worked with the US Consulate in North, South, East, and West India and operated as sports on 'diplomatic speaking tour'.
This success includes a long term tie-up relationship with Jain International School of Sporting Excellence in Bangalore and winning a 2008 NIKE Changemaker grant for a three-year ongoing project in Kashmir. JD received a special award of distinction from Pune Municipal Corporation (Mayor's office), by party Mayor and Leader of the Opposition, Vikas Mathkari. In 2008, JD was a special guest in Chennai with US Consulate General Mr. David Hopper to garland a statue of Mr. Harry Buck at the oldest YMCA in India. An estimated 5,000+ youth directly benefited from the program which was featured in over 100 local and national newspaper articles to over 200 million English and Hindu-speaking estimated readers (including, the Hindu, the Times of India, Deccan Chronicle and LiveMint - the Wall Street Journal of India).
Tens of local and national TV news interviews and the clips from the clinic have been shown on TV and online, and JD was featured in a five minute story on national station, DDS1. jdBASKETBALL has worked hard to develop a good relationship with Indian sports bodies including the Basketball Federation of India and have worked with two of the largest grassroots institutions in India - Don Bosco and the YMCA. JD has conducted clinics in ten cities for nine State basketball associations throughout India and conducted numerous coaches clinic at Fergusson College (Pune), Tamil Nadu State Basketball Association, Bangalore with National Team Head Coach, Alexsander Bucan for BFI and Olympic official Mr. Govinraj. Some of these clinics have been used for coaches certification purposes for State Associations (Tamil Nadu, Karnatika, Maharashtra, and West Bengal).
The Spring 2009 tour included stops in Chennai (for Tamil Nadu Sports Authority) Delhi US Consulate program and Punjab, and the prestigious Sports Authority of India's NSNIS Patiala-- Asia's largest sports institute.
In September 2009, JD and co-partner George Mason University and former Georgetown Head coach, Craig Esherick (assistant coach for the 1988 US Men's Olympic basketball team) were awarded a US Department of State Sports Initiative grant that allows for two years of major coaches training and cultural exchange. Part of this exchange required JD and the coaches to travel to Bangalore and train the Indian Sr. Men's National Team (April 2010). And, in July 2010 (for the first time in history), twelve top coaches from Indian traveled to meet the coaches in USA (At George Mason University) for training.
jdBASKETBALL has completed multi-day coaching clinics at the American School Bombay, Jain International School, and American Embassy School (New Delhi).In November, 2010 jdBASKETBALL created history again by traveling to Aizwal, Mizarom the first foreign basketball coach to ever visit the state. jdBASKETBALL has been featured in over 200 newsprint, internet and television media - including interviews on CNN and IBN, and founder, JD Walsh's blog is read by readers all over the world.