Courtesy of Princepal Singh, the 2021 NBA G League season was keenly followed by Indian-origin fans across the world.
Each game, thousands across the world would check in to see if the 20-year-old from Gurdaspur, Punjab would crack the team’s rotation to make his debut or record his first-ever points in the G League.
Singh had been selected as part of the league’s all-new Ignite squad, a first-of-its-kind team dedicated to developing top young prospects from across the world in preparation for the NBA Draft.
The deal made him the first NBA Academy graduate to sign with the NBA G League and the first NBA Academy India graduate to sign a professional contract.
With the condensed 2021 season in the books, here’s a look at the most notable and memorable moments from Singh’s campaign with the Ignite.
While Singh’s debut had to wait, he wasn’t disappointed.
“I didn’t think anything like that [chance for a debut if the game was blowout],” Singh shared in an exclusive with NBA.com. “I just wanted the team to win, they are my focus.”
After four games, Singh finally saw some minutes against the Erie Bayhawks, checking in for the game’s final 7:49.
Not only did he become the third-Indian ever to log minutes in a G League game and first since Amjyot Singh in 2019, but he also became the first-ever NBA Academy Alumni to check in to a G League game.
With photographers on the ready at the arena and a couple of practices available to the media on stream, it gave some of the Indian media back home their first glimpse of Singh training with the squad.
Questions about Singh were asked to Ignite veterans Amir Johnson and Jarrett Jack leading up to the season-opener. Both NBA veterans didn’t disappoint, sharing personal experiences with Singh.
Johnson called him a “workhorse” while sharing stories of their time together in the weight room. Jack believed Princepal Singh was “too unselfish at times” but applauded him for how he was adjusting.
“Coming into this situation with the language barrier and still being able to go out there and compete is amazing,” Jack said. “If the shoe was on the other foot, I don’t know how on earth I would be able to do that.”
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Singh finished with two rebounds. He came close to scoring his first points but went scoreless, failing to convert his lone field goal attempt and his lone free-throw attempt – a technical late in the game.
Off a bounce pass from teammate Daishen Nix, Singh rolled to the rim and slammed it home for his first career G League points. Less than a couple of minutes later, as the game clock was winding down, he nailed a buzzer-beating 3.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 26, 2021