Indian hoopster Princepal Singh, who recently became the first National Basketball Association Academy graduate to join the NBA G-League, is “positioned to do well” in his professional career, its president Shareef Abdur-Rahim has said.
The 19-year old from Punjab will play for the G-League select team, a developmental side outside the NBA league’s team structure. He had come through the NBA ACG Jump Programme, a national talent hunt initiative India.
“A regular G-League team will have its own priorities, while being part of the select team will allow us to take a more direct interest in Princepal’s growth. He is positioned to do well in his professional career,” Shareef said during an interaction recently.
Troy Justice, vice-president and head of International Basketball Development at NBA, said Princepal had an incredible opportunity in front of him and had improved over the years at the NBA Academy.
“Princepal has an incredible opportunity in front of him and he is been working hard for three years in the NBA Academy programme and in the system.
“Every year we have seen incredible growth, he has improved year on year not only in fundamental, skills, athleticism and strength. His ability as a basketball player to continue to get better is a great sign for his future,” he added.
He said the NBA Academy has helped Princepal become an all-round player.
“First of all, Princepal is 6 feet 10 inches. He has some incredible natural instincts and skills that you can’t teach. He has got a high basketball IQ, he has got athleticism. The coaching staff has done an incredible job of really helping him grow as a player,” he said.
As to what the future holds for Princepal, Shareef said like the other elite prospects in the select team, the Indian will also get an opportunity to get into the NBA draft.
“So these players sign a one-year contract and then from there, they decide on what’s next for them and what they want to do.
“In many cases, they’ll prepare and make their announcement for the NBA Draft,” he added.