(Our Bureau, May 20) When Punjab native Princepal Singh went to Ludhiana in 2015 for a volleyball try-out, little did he he know that he was destined to be playing basketball for the NBA G-League in the US. Spotted by a basketball coach for his height (stands tall at 6 feet 9 inches), Singh was chosen by the NBA Academy that has spent a decade hunting talent in India. After being housed and trained at the NBA Academy in Delhi and Australia’s Global Academy for two years, Singh represented his state in the Indian Junior National Championships. He was signed by NBA G-League Ignite team in 2020, becoming the first Indian NBA Academy graduate to get a professional contract. “I’m not sure I will play the Draft this year. But I want to play in the NBA, if not his year, then at least in the next year,” Singh told The Times of India. Singh’s stint at the G-League may not guarantee him a spot with the major teams, but it definitely inspires the youth to play the sport. “It’s hard to predict where he’ll go. Now it’s just a matter of putting in the work, developing his skills, and let’s see what happens,” Scott Flemming, technical director of the NBA Academy in India told Washington Post. Princepal joins other Indian players such as Satnam Singh, Vivek Ranadivé and Amaan Sandhu to make it to the US.