Princepal Singh, First Indian to be Part of NBA Championship 2021

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Princepal Singh is the uprising Indian champion who created history with a glorious NBA championship in 2021. Born on 3rd January 2001, he is the first Indian ever to be a part of the NBA G League as a professional NBA G League Ignite. He plays at the power forward and centre positions. Keep reading to find out how this ‘Punjabi Munda’ is breaking shackles internationally!

Source: NBA

Early Life 

Born in Punjab, he grew up playing volleyball. He travelled to Ludhiana to participate in tryouts at the volleyball academy. However, he caught the sight of Ludhiana basketball Academy coach Jaipal Singh. He joined the LBA and learnt to play basketball under his coach. He was a great player and soon earned a three-year scholarship worth $75,000 in the year 2016. But due to his visa cancellation, he could not join the program in Jennifer, Ohio.

He continued his practice in the NBA Academy New Delhi for the next 1.5 years. In May 2017, he was invited by the training centre at the Australian Institute of sport centre of excellence in Canberra. He took two-year training from there and in October 2019 was named as the most valuable player at the Indian junior national championship. He also managed to get the gold medal in the under-21 category of the Khelo India youth games in January 2020.

Youtube: EST

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Career in Indian Teams

Source: FIBA

In 2017, he was in the Indian Junior National Team and won the gold medal at the SABA under 16 championship in Nepal. He was also given the title of MVP in the final game against Bhutan. In April 2018, he played the FIBA under 16 Asian Championship in China with an average of 22.7 points.

In December 2018, he made his debut in the Indian Senior National Team. Later in February 2020, he was selected to represent India for window one of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualification stage.

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Career in NBA G League Ignite

He made a remarkable exit from the Khelo India youth games in 2020 and soon was signed in a one year contract with the NBA G league Ignite. This made him the first Indian to sign a professional contract with the NBA academy. His average points in the four games were recorded at 2.3 in the first season. He played the NBA Summer League in 2021 from Sacramento Kings.

“It is a great experience to play against the top players in Summer League. They are all NBA players, who have been drafted. There is a lot of learning and my game is improving,” said Princepal Singh, the first-ever NBA Academy India graduate to feature in a Summer League game.

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Historic Journey to the NBA

Youtube: Times Now

Singh is winning all hearts by laying his hands on the prestigious NBA title where his team Sacramento Kings defeated Boston Celtics 100-67 this Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The last time the team one was in 2014. Our Punjabi guy played the final game for 4:08 minutes in the 48-minute duration game. 

Source: TOI

He finished with two points with the final score of Kings to 100 and also pulled down one rebound. The Kings won the NBA trophy and Singh made all Indians proud. This event took place exactly a week after his debut at the summer league.

“My coach [Bobby Jackson] asked me to play hard. He said I should focus on my game and that I will get more time. He asked me to focus on strong rebounding and defense and look to score.”, said Princepal Singh.

He happens to be the first Indian in the NBA to be a part of an NBA championship. Kings is the only franchise that has won multiple summer league titles. They kept dominating the opposition throughout the game.

Source: (India Today)

Lesser Known Facts About Princepal Singh

Youtube: Ekalavyas

Here are some of the most interesting facts about his personal and professional life.

  • Both his parents are very tall. His father’s height is 6 feet) and his mother is 5 feet 10 inches tall.
  • His father is an electrician and his mother is a house maker.
  • He is the first person after Satnam Singh to debut in the NBA summer league.
  • His coach Jaipal Singh identified his potential as a basketball player.
  • He switched his career from volleyball to basketball.
  • He is complimented for shooting and rebound skills on court.
  • He is the 1st NBA Academy graduate to receive a professional contract.

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Awards and Titles

(Sports Illustrated)

The most recent feathers added to his cap include:

  • SABA under 16 championship, Nepal, gold medal in September 2017
  • Most Valuable Player title in SABA under 16 championship, Nepal
  • NBA league 2021 trophy

Princepal Singh has made his team and his country proud. He has lived a long journey of hard work and dedication. Coach Jaipal Singh identified the true potential of Princepal Singh. He guided him towards his destiny just like an ideal mentor. We hope that he continues to play for the NBA and wins many titles for his team. It is just a beginning for him and a long journey awaits him. To read similar blogs and articles on eminent personalities, stay tuned to Leverage Edu.

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