Two-time NBA All-Star Baron Davis was overwhelmed when he found out about his scheduled Mumbai trip a few months back. But it was more than providing a feel of top-level basketball to a country with not more than a passing interest in his sport that the 30-year-old was looking ahead to.
Movies play a very important part in my life and I think the most number of films are made in India, says the LA Clippers point guard Davis,who doubles up as a movie producer. Davis had earlier acted in a handful of movies and now heads his own production company,Verso Entertainment. I had been almost desperate to make a visit, he adds.
So serious is Davis about his movie ambitions that apart from holding a number of coaching clinics around the city,he also plans to meet up with a few directors. Ive read a lot about India and actually have three scripts ready for movies that can be shot here, says Davis,who started his 10-year-old NBA career with the Charlotte Hornets.
Davis says that it was a sudden surge in height during his teens that made basketball his biggest priority. I was 53 when I was 15,but suddenly shot up to over 6 feet by the time I turned 18 and it was clear that an NBA career was up for grabs, he says. I fell in love with basketball when my grandfather built me a court in the backyard when I was three, adds Davis.
It was sci-fi movies though,that sparked off a love for cinema. E.T. and Star Wars were cult movies then and opened up a brand new world of adventure and mystery. But as much as I would have loved to be friends with E.T.,I realised that following in the footsteps of Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan was more realistic, Davis says with a laugh.
Back to his India sojourn,Davis considers basketball a fast growing sport in the country and is confident there is enough talent in the 46th ranked nation. We want to ensure that India soon finds its own Yao Ming, he says.