Amjyot Singh Gill, the 24-year-old, is India's latest entrant to the NBA's D-League draft that is scheduled to be held on 30 October 2016. Earlier in September, Palpreet Singh Brar became eligible for the draft and Gill who hails from Punjab became the second Indian to be named in the draft this year.
Last year, India had their first representation in the NBA D-League when Satnam Singh was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. In the 2015 draft, Satnam was the 52nd overall pick, and he currently features in the D-League side Texas Legends.
As reported in the Indian Express, Amjyot's manager Vishnu Ravi Shankar spoke that the NBA is a dream for every basketball player and how Amjyot is one step closer to fulfilling that dream.
He said, "NBA is a dream for every player and it may come true for Amjyot. He has moved one step closer after being India’s second entry to this year’s draft. People from NBA contacted us and asked if Amjyot will be interested to send his name for the draft.”
Being one of India's top forwards, Amjyot’s performances at the top level in Asia made the NBA sit up and take notice. He was invited by basketball body to enter his name in the draft right after the conclusion of the FIBA Asia Cup.
Shankar also mentioned how Amjyot's performances helped in his selection as he said, “All this helps. His performances in different tournaments were noticed and they asked us to give his name. How many times does that happen for an Indian player?”
The youngster's meteoric rise kick-started a couple of years back. He played a pivotal role in India's commendable performances recently and was also awarded the Most Valuable Player award in Japan’s National League.
Standing at 6'9", Amjyot spoke about how he picked up basketball in spite of the sport not being very popular in India, “I picked up basketball after trying five other games and once I understood that game and how popular it is in India, my aim was to turn professional. I decided that I will never stop. And I am one step closer and there is no way I am letting go of this chance if I get picked.”
The Indian is hopeful of being selected in the draft with his manager dubbing him as India's best player currently.
“We are hopeful that he will be picked in the draft. There is no doubt that he is currently India’s best player, be it fitness or skills. I am very confident that he can go on to earn himself a big name in the dream league,” Shankar said.Published 12 Oct 2016, 12:28 IST