The year 2020 has been a trying one.
After the frontline workers, who have been spearheading the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, sports athletes across the world - professional and amateur - were among the most impacted.
In March, earlier this year, as the world went into lockdowns to control the spread of the virus, so did the NBA Academy India. Coaches and student-athletes went from the Academy at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) to their homes.
In the latter half of the year, once the world began getting a better understanding of how to deal with the virus, sports leagues across the world began operations once again. In the midst of all this, a trio of former NBA Academy India student-athletes made headlines, taking one step towards realizing their dream of playing in the NBA.
Pritish Kokate, a Pune native, gave credit to ACG WorldWide for the achievements of his former Academy teammates in a video posted by NBA India on Instagram.
"ACG has taken a great initiative by conducting camps in every metropolitan city in India and it shows that players from the Academy that they have selected, have reached the heights of the G League, with Princepal going to the G League."
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"Players getting signed for USA colleges. So, they have done a great job in setting up the NBA Academy and giving players a great platform."
ACG Worldwide, the official partner of the NBA Academy India, has assisted in conducting the ACG-NBA Jump Program - a national-level talent search program to select the best young prospects in the country - since 2016.
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In the video, Kokate also shares a few interesting stories of being at home during the lockdown, a circumstance he has been less familiar with since he was selected for the NBA Academy in 2018.
"In the lockdown, obviously, everyone is doing something that they haven't done before. My brother was here for three months. He knows how to play the keyboard. So, I just wanted to learn the keyboard again. I also helped my mom with cooking."
Pritish's journey is an inspiration to all the ballers out there!#NBAAcademy #ACGNBAJump- NBAIndia (@NBAIndia) September 16, 2019
Kokate has represented the Academy in the NBA Academy Games last year in Atlanta and their two visits to Hungary to participate in the EYBL Central European Division.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.