NBA G-League: After life-changing stint at Oklahoma City Blues, India’s Amjyot Singh takes leap of faith with Wisconsin Herd

After having spent a season and a half with Oklahoma City Blue, India’s Amjyot Singh will move to the Wisconsin Herd for the remainder of the G-League season.

The G-League is the NBA’s minor league where 27 affiliates of NBA teams compete against each other in two conferences. While Oklahoma City Blue ― the affiliate of Oklahoma City Thunder ― are currently second in the 13-team Western Conference with a 25-12 record, Wisconsin Herd are in the bottom of the 14-team Eastern Conference with a 9-26 record.

NBA G-League: After life-changing stint at Oklahoma City Blues, India’s Amjyot Singh takes leap of faith with Wisconsin Herd

File image of Amjyot Singh Gill. Twitter/@NBAIndia

The Herd ― affiliated with Milwaukee Bucks, who are currently leading the NBA’s Eastern Conference ― still have 14 games left in the regular 50-game season, with a showdown against the Blue scheduled on 27 February. The regular G-League season will end in March with the Playoffs in April consisting of a four-round, 12-team competition.

“I was mostly playing as a practice player this season after getting a lot of game time last time around at OKC Blue,” Amjyot told Firstpost on Friday. “I played in just six-seven games. So, this move to the Herd will hopefully bring along more opportunities. Their playing style is also more suited to mine.”

In 36 games over two seasons for the Blue, he averaged 2.5 points in eight minutes on the floor which included three starts.

At the Herd, Amjyot will get the opportunity to rub shoulders with a number of players who ply their trade for the Bucks. In this season so far, players like Sterling Brown (46 games for Bucks this season), DJ Wilson (29 games), Donte DiVincenzo (23 games) and Christian Wood (11 games) have been assigned ― when an NBA team sends a player to its G-League affiliate ― to the Herd to train and play for the G-League team. Besides, Bonzie Colson and Trevon Duval (three games for Bucks this season), who are on two-way contracts, are also regulars with the G-League team.

The chance to train with such players, who contribute regularly to the team currently perched atop the Eastern Conference, could prove to be a blessing for the Indian. The G-League features developmental players and coaches who NBA teams can prepare to make the step up into the NBA. In fact, as many as 40 percent of the players who were on the NBA teams’ rosters at the start of the current season have had some sort of G-League experience on their CV. Over the years, many NBA regulars have emerged from the G-League, including Toronto Raptors’ Jeremy Lin and Danny Green and Houston Rockets’ Gerald Green. 2018-19 NBA All-Star Khris Middleton, who plays for the Bucks, Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, Golden State Warriors’ Shaun Livingston, Houston Rockets’ Clint Capela, Cleveland Cavaliers' Jordan Clarkson and Boston Celtics' Terry Rozier are among those who have had stints in the G-League.

“Amjyot is the closest among Indians to play in the NBA at the moment. He’s also in the best shape of his life. So he needed to be in the right team. He has to be seen. By playing for the Herd, he will have a better chance to break into the NBA because they can offer him more time on the court,” said Rohit Bakshi, the Commissioner for the 3x3 basketball league 3BL. Bakshi is also the CEO of YKBK Enterprise Pvt Ltd, which sponsors Amjyot.

A new Amjyot

Amjyot said he was thankful to the Blues for completely changing him as a player during his time with the franchise.

“The stint at Oklahoma was life-changing. They treated me like I was a member of their family. I cannot even begin to list the things in me which changed in my time at the Blues. The stint saw changes in my body, the way I play, the way I approach a game, the way I live, my stamina, my conditioning and my mental makeup. Even my decision-making on the court got better as did my shooting.

“Earlier, I was used to playing around 40 minutes for my team. But at OKC Blue, I was told that I would instead be given a five-minute window to make an impact. I had to give everything in those five minutes rather than trying to play for a whole game,” he said.

On being asked what he’s heard about Wisconsin, he said: “The basketball is not too different. But I hear it gets really cold and snows a lot.”

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Updated Date: Feb 16, 2019 10:48:27 IST

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