Hunt for the next Satnam: NBA launches basketball talent search programme in India

Mumbai: The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the ACG Worldwide Group (ACG) have launched the first national basketball talent search programme to identify players who can follow in the footsteps of Satnam Singh, the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA.

The programme would provide basketball players from around the country the opportunity to develop their skills and one top player from the programme would also receive the opportunity to attend the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) National Tryout in the United States, a media release said on Wednesday.

NBA D-League is NBA's official minor league and Satnam Singh would tip off the programme at the Thyagraj Sports Complex in Delhi on 26 October.

 Hunt for the next Satnam: NBA launches basketball talent search programme in India

File picture of Satnam Singh. AFP

"We strongly believe in the potential of India's youth and believe in empowering them through sport. ACG-NBA Jump is an equal opportunity programme for many who are talented but may not have the access," said ACG Director Karan Singh.

"This programme is part of ACG Cares Foundation and we are sure that with more programmes like this, India's basketball teams will have a richer talent pool to choose from. With the help of such programmes, we are confident that India's performance on international platforms such as the Olympics and Asian Games will improve," he added.

"ACG-NBA Jump is the next step in our continued commitment to grow the game of basketball in India," said NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco.

"With Sim Bhullar becoming the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA and Satnam Singh becoming the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA, basketball playing youth in India now have relatable figures to look up to, and this programme will give them the opportunity of a direct path to the professional ranks," he added.

The programme would be split into three phases. In the first phase, six regional, one-day elite camps will be held in six cities -- Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

The second phase would consist of a national elite training camp where 32 players selected from the six regional camps would assemble for a four-day training period, the release said.

In the third and final phase, one top player from the national elite training camp would be selected to attend the NBA D-League National Tryout in the US for the opportunity to earn a spot on an NBA D-League roster.

The selected player would continue to undergo training up until the tryout in June 2016, the release added.


Updated Date: Oct 21, 2015 19:01:33 IST