Basketball and India

NBA Academy India's Pritish Kokate has shown tremendous growth since joining the Academy in 2018

"So Pritish was tried out last year through our ACG NBA Jump program. And really stood out, but we were very impressed with him when he tried out and felt like he was a good candidate for the Academy. And he has not let us down," says Scott Flemming, the technical director of NBA Academy India.

Pritish Kokate, from Pune in Maharashtra, was one of eight players selected in 2018 to be a student-athlete at the NBA Academy India.

"I heard it from my dad that the NBA Academy trials are going on, and video submissions are going to happen," Kokate adds.

MORE: Get to know Todd Gates- coach at NBA Academy India

The small forward has come a long way since he first got selected to the Academy.

"When I came here in the first year, I started to recognise my weaknesses. I was frightened of playing hard basketball. Now, in the second year that I've been here, I have understood the physicality of the game. That is my strength now.

The improvement has been noticed by coach Flemming as well.

"I've seen real growth in him now. He's one of our better players here, after a year."

MORE: Jaideep Rathore wants to play in the NBA and for India

In this past year, Pritish has learned a lot more than just on-the-court skills and techniques.

"Basketball taught me to come back in life. Never give up and never lose hope."

The 17-year-old most recently represented the NBA Academy India at the third NBA Academy Games in Atlanta.

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