Under 'no pressure', Princepal Singh wants to shine in NBA

The youngster from Ludhiana has been picking the brain of Satnam Singh, Palpreet Singh and Amjyot Singh, who have previously played in the G League.

India basketball player Princepal Singh in action.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Teenage hoopster and India international Princepal Singh has made rapid strides in the last few years and is now taking his next big step towards realising his dream of playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The youngster has earned a contract with the NBA G League Select team.

Only three other Indians have featured in the G League without having gone on to play at the highest level – the NBA. The burden of becoming the first Indian player to play in the NBA must weigh heavy on Princepal but the experience he has gained from several overseas stints will keep him in good stead.

The NBA Academy India graduate has attended camps and featured in tournaments in China, the US, Australia and Italy. It is understood that the performances of the 6'10" forward in these events caught the eye of G-League scouts, who are always on the lookout for high-performing youngsters.

READ| India's Princepal Singh signs with NBA G League

Princepal, who has charted a two-year process to make it to the NBA, says, “I feel no pressure. I want to give my 100 per cent. The Australia trip [NBA Global Academy, 2018] has given me a lot of experience which I will take with me to the US. I will play with a free mind.”

As part of the Select Team in the G League, Princepal will be a part of a specific group of elite players, including top high school recruits from the class of 2020 — Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix, Kai Sotto and Jonathan Kuminga. They will be coached by Brian Shaw, a five-time NBA champion as both player and assistant coach.

Princepal is training in full swing while awaiting the travel details to the US. "I am doing weight training and working on my dribbling. Shane from the NBA Global Academy is giving me a schedule to follow; one hour in the morning, and 90 minutes in the evening," he says.

The stint with the star-studded Select team will provide the 18-year-old with a platform to impress scouts from the NBA G League teams. A confident-sounding Princepal said, “I have featured in camps before in the US and I may have played with some of them previously. I am excited to compete with them and do well.”

His participation in the NBA G League winter showcase in Las Vegas in 2018, when he played against several promising high school players gives him an understanding of what to expect. Princepal says, “Game sense, strength and speed is something I will have to work on over there.”

He is also picking the brains of Satnam Singh, Palpreet Singh and Amjyot Singh, who all have previously played in the G League.

“I speak to all of them. They tell me how the experience is and how to play there. I will continue to learn more from them. I have been there before so culturally it won’t be something new but I will need to adapt and make some adjustments. They have told me the importance of rebounds in the game among other stuff,” he says.

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