NBA D-League draft pick Palpreet Singh wants to continue playing for India
Palpreet Singh wants to use his NBA learning to help India perform better on the international stageother sports Updated: Nov 02, 2016 16:04 IST
On his first visit to India after being drafted by Dallas Mavericks, Satnam Singh Bhamara announced he would no longer turn out for the national team, claiming his main aim was to further his career in the NBA.
Though India did well in the recently concluded FIBA Asia Challenge in Iran, finishing seventh overall, there was a feeling that India could have done better if the likes of Satnam Singh had featured.
Palpreet Singh Brar, who on Sunday followed Satnam Singh as the second Indian to be drafted into NBA by D-League outfit Long Island Nets, too missed the FIBA Asia Challenge in September as he was preparing in USA for the D-League National Tryouts. So, in his first interaction with the Indian media after being drafted in D-League, Palpreet faced the inevitable question: Will he too turn his back on the national team now that he has got a foothold in NBA?
“No,” said Palpreet. “I would continue playing for India. I will be available whenever they call me. I want to learn things in NBA, improve my skills and help India do better in international basketball,” said the 6 foot 9 inches, 200 pound power forward from Doda village in Sri Muktsar Sahib district of Punjab.
Palpreet was in the D-League draft along with two other Indians – Amjyot and Amritpal Singh and his selection ahead of his more experienced countrymates surprised many – especially as Amjyot had last week guided Team Hamamatsu of Japan to a runners-up finish in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals in Abu Dhabi.
What seems to have worked in Palpreet’s favour was his fitness.
“When I won the ACG NBA Jump (a talent search competition organised by NBA India) my fitness was not that good. I had a 45-day camp in Kerala where the coaches made me work on my fitness and that helped me a lot in getting drafted,” Palpreet said.
In his first interaction with the Long Island Nets coaching staff, Palpreet was told to work on his fitness and skills. “The coach said not to worry about other things but concentrate on my game. I have to work a lot on my defensive and offensive skills, work hard on my game and hope for the better. I have not set any targets for myself but I am confident that I would one day play in the NBA proper.”
When he started his journey, Palpreet says he never thought that one day he would be in the NBA. “I only wanted to play for my state and hopefully for the country.”
Now that he has got into the D-League, Palpreet wants to make the most of this opportunity and hopes that it would inspire more and more Indian kids to aspire for a place in basketball’s biggest and most prestigious league.