Basketball and India

NBA India All-Access: A conversation with NBA Academy India student-athlete Achintya Krishna

NBA Academy India's student-athlete Achintya Krishna

In this episode of NBA India All-Access, we welcome Achintya Krishna, a student-athlete at the NBA Academy India.

Krishna, a 6'2 combo guard from Bengaluru, Karnataka, has been at the Academy at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) since May of 2017. He was one of 21 student-athletes that formed the first batch of the NBA Academy India.

Set to give his SATs later this year and aim for a college scholarship in the USA to achieve his ultimate dream of playing in the NBA, Krishna is among a few NBA Academy India student-athlete that had a very active 2019 playing basketball and training around the world under the NBA Academy.

As he continues to work out and stay focused in this lockdown, here's how his conversation with went: The country is in week 7 of the Lockdown. Through the NBA Academy's social posts, we know you have picked up hobbies like learning the ukulele but otherwise, how have you been staying in shape and dealing with the lockdown mentally?

Achintya Krishna: So, physically, the NBA Academy has an app called the Bridge Athletic. On that, we have a program to follow for four days of a week and that helps us stay in shape. Also, they do suggest extra work like running in the morning or climbing stairs. You were part of the first batch of 21 at the Academy and you were also among those who had a very active 2019. Could you call 2019 your best 'basketball year' and could you tell us about all the significant events?

Krishna: Yes, that was the best basketball year of my life.

It started off with six of us from NBA Academy India going to the select U16 camp with prospects from the other Academies. We played games, had plenty of experiences including watching an NBA game live and got to meet Dwyane Wade after that.

Then, for the SABA Championship, I got selected to the Indian team along with seven other players from the Academy. We won gold at the SABA Championship easily. That was also a wonderful experience, representing the country.

After that, we went to Atlanta and in the Academy Games, we beat China. It was our first victory in the Academy Games, so that felt good. After that, we went to Hungary and I had one of my best games there - I had like 21 points and 5 3-pointers in the first game which was against the hosts. We ended up losing the game but it was a good experience.

MORE: All-Access with Pranav Prince

Following that, in November, we won the college league that the Academy hosts every year. How memorable was the week-long NBA India Games experience in Mumbai?

Krishna: Mumbai was a beautiful experience for all of us. We stayed there for about 4-5 days and it was a busy yet memorable week.

First, we visited the floating court, then, we had a lot of life skills sessions with the coaches who had come from around the world. That was a beautiful experience.

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#NBAAcademy India 🇮🇳 Amaan Sandhu and Lokendra "Loky" Singh are proud to be the first ones to scrimmage on India's first ever floating court! - #NBAIndiaGames #NBAInMyBackYard

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We got to attend both games. We took turns - one game one of the groups was assigned on-the-floor duties like feeding the ball to the players during pre-game shootarounds and collecting the gear as the players are entering the game.

I was on the floor for the first game and that game went to overtime. It was a crazy atmosphere in the arena. We also had a practice game against the Men's Railways team while in Mumbai. Recently you were on the first live session of the NBA Basketball Schools India program. What was it like answering questions from kids who are aged between 6-12 given that maybe a few years back, you might/could have been one of them?

Krishna: Five years ago, I was in their spot. All of them were so curious, so it was really exciting for me that I could inspire them that they could make it to the Academy as well.

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With less than an hour to go before our NBA Basketball School students interact with Harsimran Kaur, here are snippets of our online interaction with NBA Academy India's, Achintya Krishna. From fun drills to learning what it takes to play at the Academy, our students had a great time! #NBABasketballSchool #NBATogether

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I really enjoyed talking to them, sharing my story and experiences with them. One of the most common questions I got was - 'what did I do extra to make it to the Academy?' Through these years at the Academy, what have you learned with regards to dieting, how to stay in shape, lifting weights and so forth?

Krishna: When I got into the Academy, I didn't know much about how to lift weights. I hadn't done that before I went to the Academy. So, in the Academy, it was different and I was feeling homesick in the beginning but the teammates were great. They didn't let me feel homesick as much.

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Also, we had great coaches. We had coach Todd, who helps us take care of our body. Most of the players hadn't lifted weights before, so he taught us from scratch. He taught us the fundaments first and then, step-by-step, he taught us how to lift weights and take care of our bodies. It was a new experience and it educated us on how to maintain our body and how to develop strength.

Coach Todd also emphasized on our diets. A lot of the players who were overweight, he was strict with them. They had a separate diet plan and they were supposed to put in extra work in conditioning. He told us to take in more salads and less of white rice, bread and stuff like that. How has the time with the Academy helped you understand what it is required to achieve your ultimate goal of playing in the NBA one day?

Krishna: This year, I was supposed to give the SATs in May but because of the Coronavirus, it got postponed. I'm mostly giving that in September, so yes, just preparing for that.

With the Academy, we have had sessions telling us about the road we have to take to achieve your goals - first take SATs, then college.

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