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Basketball and India

It's Princepal's time: A deep dive into the Indian star's next steps and advantages of a G League deal

If you had,

One shot,

Or one opportunity,

To seize everything you ever wanted,

In one moment,

Would you capture it,

Or just let it slip?

via GIPHY

Those are the opening lines for the Oscar-winning song by Marshal Mathers, better known as Eminem. The lyrics appropriately describe Princepal Singh who now joins Amjyot Singh and Satnam Singh as the only Indian-born players set to play in the NBA G-league. Although they are not related, it certainly seems the "Singhs" are taking both the "shot" and the "opportunity" described in Eminem's song as they move towards their basketball dream.

As well documented, Princepal Singh, became the first prospect to join the G League from the NBA Academy India. He will be playing for the G League's Select team, a roster of talented high-school prospects from around the world not directly affiliated with any NBA franchise.

MORE: Singh on G League Deal - 'This is a very big deal for me'

The G League offers players the opportunity to earn a salary, something that is not an option in the NCAA. The NCAA is working with local lawmakers to allow players to earn compensation for their name image and likeness but that avenue is not clearly established at the moment.

G League players also get direct exposure to NBA scouts. Its growth has actually made it more attractive for players to go from high school to the developmental program. In the past, players relied on college basketball to raise their profiles.

Beginning with the 2006 NBA Draft, players were required to wait one year after completing high school before being permitted to enter the NBA Draft. This rule is enforced through the collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) that the NBPA and team owners agree to.

Past CBA deals allowed players to go straight from high school to the NBA. It allowed talents like Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and of course LeBron James to skip college -- that is no longer the case. Since 2006, if a player wanted to enter the NBA Draft without playing for a college program, the typical path was to play overseas.

For example, former NBA star Brandon Jennings played for the professional basketball club Lottomatica Roma in Italy in between high school and the NBA.

Current Jazz guard Emmanuel Mudiay followed a similar path as he played professionally in China before being drafted in the NBA. Lamelo Ball is expected to be a lottery pick when this year's draft is held and he too skipped college in favor of playing professionally before joining the NBA.

MORE: Where does LaMelo Ball rank on the 1st Mock Draft of the 2020 Draft Class?

The G League offers Singh numerous benefits and it will provide him a stepping stone to take his talents to the next level. Although Singh is giving up his right to play in the NCAA by agreeing to play in the G League, he will still be able to play in international leagues. He also has an inside track to getting an education through at least one institution.

Arizona State University offers NBA G League players the opportunity to take classes and earn degrees through the school's online programs. Some of these credits can be transferred to other universities and players have five years from when they play in the G League to enroll.

Singh's goal is to get to the NBA. Period. The G League just might be that step. With the uncertainty surrounding the NBA and professional sports as a whole, only time will tell when Singh's journey will continue. Similar to Eminem's character in 8 Mile who donned the moniker "B-Rabbit", Singh will have to "be" patient.

The views on this page do not represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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