When hoop dreams become a reality…

We solemnly swear to deliver this news without resorting to ‘slam dunk’ metaphors.

In one of the most exciting signings (for us, at least) of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has netted a multi-year partnership to bring NBA games to the UAE.

The first of these matches will be two preseason NBA fixtures, taking place in October 2022, the venue for the event is still TBA (our money is on Etihad Arena, it’s a slam…med door), and those super keen on securing tickets can now register their interest on  nba.com/abudhabi.

Talking about the agreement, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum, said: “Abu Dhabi is a vibrant multicultural hub with a demonstrated track record of hosting world-class sporting events, and this partnership will not only bring the live NBA and NBA 2K League experience to fans in the Middle East, but it will also create opportunities for boys and girls to learn the fundamentals and core values of the game through a variety of grassroots programming and fan events.”

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The partnership goes deeper than star-studded exhibition matches though.

We’re going to see interactive fan events with Hall of Fame ballers past and present; Jr. NBA Leagues for both boys and girls — dunking on schools across the UAE; NBA Fit Clinics to help get sports fans of all ages in tip-top swish-swish condish; as well as a NBA 2K exhibition event — that’s the videogame for the uninitiated.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “We look forward to the NBA playing an integral role in developing young talent and healthy lifestyles at grassroots level – the heart of the UAE’s strategy, which places great emphasis on empowering youth and building a sustainable future for the nation and future generations.”

NBA fans in the UAE can currently catch all the slam…alaykum-ing action of the 2021/22 season via the NBA League Pass subscription.

Images: Getty