February 11, 2017

NBA announces selected young players for launch of NBA Academy India

In about two months, the NBA will officially kick-off perhaps their grandest project in India, an elite academy in the Delhi-NCR region where they will groom and develop the country's best young basketball players. To populate the first group of youngsters who will join the NBA Academy India, NBA India hosted a final selection programme in Noida this week. On Saturday, February 11, they made the dreams of a few dozen come true with the announcement of the selected young players for the launch of the NBA Academy India.

Back in November, the NBA announced plans to launch NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training centre for the top male and female prospects from India in Delhi-NCR. NBA Academy India, which is the first of its kind in the country, and the NBA’s fifth elite training centre globally, will be fully funded by the NBA. It is set to open in April and will provide 24 young prospects (ages 13-17) high-level training by NBA-affiliated coaches.

As part of the ACG-NBA Jump , the NBA conducted a national scouting programme in Chennai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Kochi, and Kolkata, and then brought the 45 best talents to Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida for the final stage. From February 9-11, the NBA refined their search even more and made their final selection. 21 players joining the first session of the elite Academy were named on Saturday, and three more will be identified over the next few months. The NBA has only picked male players for the first session, and will reportedly add female players in the future, too.

The selected players (via SportStar) are: Manoj Sisodiya, Md. Ali, Riyanshu Negi, Amaan Sandhu, Sejin Mathew, Virat Dhakad, Achintya Krishna, Rajveer Bhati, M. Shanmugam, Shaurya Kohli, Prashant Rawat, Vivek Chauhan, Jagshanbir Singh, Brijesh Tiwari, Arvind Kumar, Robin Banerjee,Digvijay Shekhawat, Preshit Pawar, Suraj Phathak, Parth Sharma and Rishabh Jaiswal.

The prospects at the NBA Academy India will play against top domestic and some international teams. Each centre will feature Under-18 and Under-16 teams, reported Northbridge Times, with travel sides selected for international events. Ultimately, the most promising players at NBA Academy India will be considered for promotion to the NBA Global Academy, which the league recently established in partnership with Basketball Australia in Canberra as an international hub for the training of elite prospects.

"For the youth, it is a pathway to make a career out of the sport. We are committed to growing the program in the years to come", said the NBA India's Managing Director Yannick Colaco.

"The 24 players will now have a solid platform to prepare for the opportunity to move into the professional ranks," said ACG director Karan Singh, "The final pool of players represented the very goal of the program that was to identify, hone and create a pathway for the untapped talent pool of basketball players in India."

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