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Basketball and India

“Singhing” his Praises: Princepal Singh is the latest Punjabi star to make basketball headlines

Princepal Singh
(NBA India/Twitter)

Basketball players come from a variety of backgrounds and different experiences. For example, NBA legends such as Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Hakeem Olajuwon were star soccer players before they began to dominate on the hardwood.

India's latest basketball sensation, Princepal Singh is not the first Punjabi to make a name for himself in basketball as the Dallas Mavericks drafted Satnam Singh in the 2015 NBA Draft. Satnam Singh and Princepal Singh not only share surnames and geographical similarities, both also attended the Ludhiana Basketball Academy. Satnam Singh was introduced to the formal basketball program thanks to a family friend however, Princepal chose to attend for his growing interest volleyball.

Singh displayed his talents at an open trial at the Delhi Public School in Rajnandgaon, Chattisgarh and quickly turned heads from the organizers and scouts present.

Dermot Russell, who works with Players1st sports management and is a certified FIBA agent believes Princepal is on the verge of being the next Indian hoops phenomenon saying, "Prince looks set to make a difference to Indian basketball, only difference is that standing at 6'11' at 15 years old and having the level of athleticism he has, the likelihood he will reach 7'0''+ in addition to the opportunity to train at Spire academy, he is likely to sign with a Top 25 NCAA program in 3 years time, and my prediction is that he could potentially be an NBA draft pick should he seize the opportunity that he is currently been given, for Prince, the hard work starts now."

The hard work starts now indeed. For the next two years, Princepal will display his talents at the NBA Global Academy at the Australian Institute of Sport. Singh will be surrounded with world-class facilities and talent from countries such as Nigeria, South Korea, China, and Egypt.

As Singh makes progress in the game of basketball, he also is beginning to develop his English skills as well. A positive in being in Australia is the large Punjabi community who recognize him and embrace his talents. Singh says "In Australia, Punjabis run into me on the street and like to click pictures with me. They appreciate that I am making Punjab and India proud."

If Singh does find his way to the NCAA and NBA, one thing's for sure, he'll have no shortage of vibrant nicknames to sell his brand. With a name like "Princepal", only time will tell if he can move from a "Prince" for Indian basketball to "King."

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