A record three Indians enter the 2016 NBA D-League draft
Last year Satnam Singh Bhamra became the first Indian basketball player ever to feature in the NBA Draft when he was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the draft with the 52nd pick. He currently plays for their D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends.
This year might seem more Indian,as three more Indians enter the fray viz. Palpreet Singh Brar, Amjyot Singh Gill and Amritpal Singh got accepted to the D-League draft which will be conducted via teleconference from the league's New York headquarters.
The 7-foot Punjab Centre Amritpal Singh is India's latest entry to NBA's D-League draft that will be held on Sunday (Monday IST) with Amjyot and Amritpal getting featured in the list earlier this month.In an exclusive chat with TOI, Amritpal said, “I am very much excited and have kept my fingers crossed at this stage.”
The duo of Indian stalwarts Amjyot (24) and Amritpal (25) has been a regular feature in the national team ever since they came into the limelight for their impressive performances at the FIBA Asia Cup in 2014, where the pair lead the Indian team to a historic 65-58 win over hosts China.
Since then, Amjyot and Amritpal have spent a year playing in the Japanese professional league, leading Tokyo Excellence to the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) Championship as well earlier this year
The 16th season of NBA D-League begins on November 11 and this time with a record 22 teams. Following the draft, teams will hold training camps from October 31, and will eventually trim their rosters to 10 players on November 10.
A total of 182 players will be vying for a berth in this six-round draft. The first four rounds of the six-round draft is mandatory for each of the 22 teams to make picks, while the last two are optional. As such, a total of maximum 132 players can be picked from the list of 182. Even if they get selected, the Indian trio will have to further undergo a week-long training program with their employing team to gain a spot on their roster for the upcoming season.