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Vishesh Bhriguvanshi becomes first Indian basketball player to sign with Australia's NBL

Sagnik Kundu
584   //    07 Jul 2017, 15:22 IST
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi in action

What’s the story?

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, the former Indian captain, became the first player from the country to sign with the National Basketball League (NBL) after he was picked up by the Adelaide 36ers on a one-year training deal.

Guy Hedderwick, the Chief Executive Officer of the Adelaide 36ers, was pleased to have Vishesh train with the team. In an official statement, he was quoted saying, “Vishesh is an exciting talent from India, renowned for his court presence and intuitive feel for the game. It’s great to have signed the first Indian player to the NBL and we’re looking forward to connecting with the Indian community during his basketball journey.”

Speaking to the Times of India, Vishesh revealed that it was a dream come true for him. He said, “Every player has a dream to play for a reputed league some day, and so it was my dream. Representing the nation is a very different feeling, and I am definitely proud of that, but playing in a league like this has always been my dream and that is what keeps me motivated.”

However, as per the terms of his contract, Vishesh will only be allowed to train with the Adelaide-based club. He will be eligible to play only if he replaces an injured player.

In case you didn’t know…

Having played for the Indian junior and senior national teams, Vishesh is one of the most experienced players in the country. The 25-year-old, who stands at 195 cm, played in the NBL Draft Combine in Melbourne this year, where he averaged 17.4 points and 4.5 assists per game. At the United Basketball Alliance of India Pro Basketball, he played for the Bengaluru Beast and averaged 30.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 11 games last season.

The heart of the matter

Vishesh was introduced to the 36ers by the Dream Basketball Academy, who first roped him in to participate in their 2017-18 program.

Raheim “The Dream” Brown, Managing Director and Co-Founder of The Dream Basketball, revealed that the Dream Academy would be working alongside Vishesh in a bid to explore opportunities within the NBA.

Meanwhile, Vishesh conceded that he always wanted to play in a league in India but this opportunity makes him feel ‘on top of the world’.

What’s next?

It is still uncertain as to when Vishesh will fly to Adelaide. However, his primary focus at the moment is recovering from his injury and getting himself fit for India's campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup. The competition which will be held in Lebanon next month is of the utmost importance for him.

Author’s take

This is indeed an incredible achievement for Vishesh. Moreover, it marks a significant step forward for both the player and Indian basketball.

The likes of Vishesh, Amjyot Singh Gill, Amritpal Singh and Yadwinder Singh deserve plaudits for putting Indian basketball on the world map.

Sagnik Kundu
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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