Basketball

2.08m Indian prospect Princepal Singh to join Kai Sotto and Jalen Green in NBA G League

19-year-old 6'10" Punjabi baller Singh to follow his NBA hoop dreams in the USA with Sotto, Green, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix...

By Ken Browne ·

The NBA G League continues to sign up some of the most exciting young talent in world basketball with 2.08m forward Princepal Singh the latest addition.

Singh is a 19-year-old NBA Academy graduate from Punjab, India, and will join other elite youth prospects like the Philippines' Kai Sotto, and USA rising stars Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix.

Singh will join the NBA G League - a development league that feeds the NBA - which gives young players who do not choose the college route a place to play and upskill until they are eligible for the NBA draft.

This is big news for India as Singh is the first NBA Academy graduate to sign with the NBA G League and first NBA Academy India graduate to sign a professional contract.

“I want to prove my credentials here and simultaneously will work on my skills and fitness, especially on strength, so that I can graduate to the main NBA league in the coming years,” the teenager told the Hindustan Times.

“My ultimate target is to play along with stars like LeBron (James) and Anthony Davis and I am confident that I will achieve my dream one day,” Princepal said.

The way to the NBA

While Filipino baller Kai Sotto would be the pride of the Philippines by becoming the first ever player from his basketball crazy country to make the NBA, Singh does have a path to follow.

Satnam Singh became the first Indian player to be drafted into the NBA when the Dallas Mavericks selected him with the 52nd overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft.

Satnam came up through the NBA development league too, and two other Indian players, Palpreet Singh Brar and Amjyot Singh Gill have also played in the NBA G League.

Now the excitement is building, and the G League players have been sent some kit already, here's Kai Sotto opening his:

How to make it to the NBA

But Singh and Sotto took different paths to the NBA G League: Already marked out as a prodigy at 16, 7'2" Sotto moved from the Philippines to up his game at The Skill Factory in Atlanta learning from head coach Rob Johnson with his father Ervin by his side, before visiting a number of top NCAA college teams vying for his signature.

The decision was made when a new ambitious NBA G League project came knocking and Sotto couldn't say no. A professional contract, being paid to play, and a chance to work with some of the best coaches in the business made it easy.

Singh, by contrast, stayed home in India and worked his way through the NBA Academy system.

In 2017, Singh joined The NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training center in Delhi for the top prospects from all over India. In November 2018, he moved up to The NBA Global Academy - the league’s headquarters for top male and female prospects from outside the U.S. - in Canberra, Australia, where he continued his development before graduating this spring.

"We are very proud of Princepal"

“We are thrilled to be able to offer Princepal the opportunity to begin his professional basketball journey in the NBA G League,” said NBA G League President and former NBA player Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

“We’ve long hoped that our development pathway for elite high school players would include roster spots for emerging international talent, including players who have participated in the NBA Academy program, and we’re excited to have Princepal forge this new path and develop his skills in our league.”

“We are very proud of Princepal, who has worked extremely hard to earn this opportunity as he continues to be a trailblazer for the NBA Academy program and basketball in India,” said NBA Vice President, Head of International Basketball Development Troy Justice.

“Playing in the NBA G League alongside some of the most talented up-and-coming players and under the tutelage of head coach Brian Shaw will allow Princepal to build on the foundation and framework he developed under an incredible staff of NBA Academy coaches in India and Australia over the last several years.”

During his time in the NBA Academy program, Singh jumped at the chance to take part in a number of high-profile international basketball events, including Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia 2018, BWB Global 2018 and the NBA Global Camp 2018. He also made his international debut with India Men's senior team representing his country in international competitions.

Now he has a chance to make the big time alongside some of the most exciting young players on the planet.