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Indian superstar basketballer Amjyot Singh to try out for NBA D-League
The 6ft 9 inch 24 year old power forward Amjyot Singh Gill from Chandigarh has signed the standard NBA Developmental League player contract making him eligible for the D-League draft. The draft will be held on 30th October via teleconference.
The six-round event is set to feature more than 200 draft-eligible players, and out of these, Amjyot will be fighting to be among the top 130 odd players who usually get drafted.
Amjyot has been India’s dominant all-round player at the Asian level, and has completed a successful championship winning stint in Japan’s National Basketball Development League.
Amjyot is represented by Indian talent management entity Pursuit.
Amjyot is the third Indian national, after Satnam Singh and Palpreet Singh, to try his luck with the NBA D-League.
Forward Amjyot Singh led India's attack yet again in the winning performance against Hong Kong. Image Credit: FIBA Asia.
Chandigarh/Bengaluru/New York, 12th October, 2016: India’s most talented international basketball player Amjyot Singh Gill is all set to soar higher. After dominating in the Asian circuit over the last two years, the power forward from Chandigarh has signed the standard NBA Development League player contract making him eligible to get drafted into the D-League. The ‘D League’ or ‘Development League’ is a key stepping stone towards making a cut to the NBA itself, the most gruelling, competitive and popular professional basketball league in the world.
If Amjyot gets drafted he will have to report to the team within a day or two for an 8-10 day training camp. All players, including Amjyot will be assessed on various physical (such as strength and conditioning) and game parameters (individual and team based basketball skills such as shooting, defence, rebounding, special awareness, passing etc.). If Amjyot suitably impresses then he has a chance to become an official D-League player in any of the 22 D-League teams currently affiliated to their parent franchise in the NBA. From thereon, the sky is the limit for Amjyot, who could then be “Called-Up” to the parent NBA franchise anytime in the upcoming season on short 10-day contracts or for longer durations. Apart from being a stepping stone to the NBA, playing in the D-League in the long term also opens up opportunities in other elite leagues in Europe, Australia, South America or China.
Amjyot expressed confidence and excitement at flying out to New York for the draft. “I’m both nervous and excited. I am motivated with the desire to do whatever it takes to make it to the NBA. Whatever happens, this is an opportunity for me to get exposure and understand the workings of the League.”
Over the last three seasons around 15% of NBA D-League athletes (or an average of 39 players per season) have received a Call-Up to the NBA.
“This is a big step forward for both Amjyot as well as Indian basketball. He has earned the right to be in the D-League draft based purely on his performances with the Indian national team and professionally in Japan. If called up, we have no doubt he can make a splash in the D-League, which would in turn open a world of opportunity for him,” said Vishnu Ravi Shankar, Amjyot’s manager and Business Head at Pursuit, the talent management entity that represents him.
About Amjyot Singh Gill
The 6ft 9inch Gill made the entire Indian sports fraternity take notice when he slammed home a powerful two handed alley-oop dunk during India’s historic win over China in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup. Since then, the 24-year-old “Sultan of Swat” has grown from strength to strength. As a “stretch four” Amjyot is a matchup nightmare, able to post up, rebound, block shots, handle the ball and score from the outside.
The versatile power forward went on a scoring spree during India’s memorable quarterfinal run in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship for Men, proving himself to be among Asia’s finest hoopsters. 2016 proved to be an equally significant year, as he, along with fellow Punjab baller, Amritpal Singh, made the brave decision of moving to Japan. The duo led their Tokyo Excellence team to the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) Championship. Amjyot in particular, averaged 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game over 35 games, playing 21 minutes per game.
Most recently, Amjyot had starred at the FIBA Asia Challenge, posting tournament high numbers in various key statistical categories. Amjyot was number 1 overall in freethrow shooting (90.3%) hitting 28/31 freethrows. His 8.3 rpg was 3rd among forwards and 8th overall. His 2 double doubles (i.e. when a player crossed double digits in any two statistical categories in a single game) was 3rd among forwards and 7th overall. His 12.8 ppg was 6th best among forwards. His .6 blocks per game is 3rd best among forwards. His +14.1 effpg is 6th best among forwards. His 2.4 apg is 5th best among forwards. His 37% from the field is 10th among forwards.
Interestingly, Amjyot is also part of a 3x3 side from Japan (Team Hamamatsu), comprising Indian origin players, that has qualified to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour finals to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 27-28 October. The 3x3 World Tour Finals is a very prestigious event that is the equivalent of a World Cup for 3x3 basketball. Amjyot will be competing in this event before flying to the US for the D-League draft.
About the NBA Development League*
As sourced verbatim from www.dleague.nba.com website
The NBA Development League, or NBA D-League, is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers and front office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory.
The NBA Development League began play during the 2001-02 season and enters its 16th season in 2016-17. There are an all-time high 22 NBA D-League teams heading into the 2016-17 season, each of which is singly affiliated with one NBA team.
Each D-League team plays a 50-game schedule. The regular season begins in November and runs into April. In April, the playoffs consist of three rounds, all of which follow a best-of-three series format.
In the 2015 NBA D-League draft, 106 players got drafted across 7 rounds. These players joined the around 150 others who were also part of the D-League rosters via other means (e.g. via assignment from the NBA, via local tryouts etc.)
The NBA D-League’s 16th season tips off on Nov. 11 with a record 22 teams. Following the Draft, teams will hold training camps beginning on Oct. 31, and will trim their rosters to 10 players on Nov. 10, in advance of the start of the season.
The 2016 NBA D-League Draft will take place via teleconference on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. ET. The six-round event is set to feature more than 200 draft-eligible players.
Fans can follow the 2016 NBA D-League Draft in real time on nba.com/dleague. No trades of players or picks will be permitted during the Draft and only players signed to NBA Development League Standard Player Contracts are eligible to be selected.
For more information on the NBA Development League, please see: www.dleague.nba.com/faq
Pursuit is a talent management and scouting entity with the aim is to find and create the right opportunities for budding athletes with the talent and potential to succeed at the international level. Through its grassroots network, Pursuit is able to spot athletic talent from a young age and help them along their playing careers, whether in India or abroad. Pursuit is headed by Vishnu Ravi Shankar and is India’s pre-eminent and pioneering basketball scouting and talent management agency.
For more information visit: www.pursuitindia.com