May 4, 2018

8 winners of ACG-NBA Jump programme set to join NBA Academy India

Earlier this week, 50 of the best young basketball players from around the country were invited from a national talent-search programme - the ACG-NBA Jump - to take part in the ACG-NBA Jump National Finals at the NBA Academy India in Greater Noida. After two days of rigorous training, scouting, and tryouts, the NBA has chosen eight winners from around the country. These eight young players will join the ranks of other prospects at the NBA Academy India and be at the forefront to receive what the NBA has called a "holistic, 360-degree approach to player development with focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills."

After the finals on May 3-4, the ACG-NBA Jump winners are:
  • Harsh Dagar (13) - Haryana
  • Lokendra Singh (13) - Rajasthan
  • Pranav Prince (15) - Kerala
  • Lalhnepuia Chhakchuak (16) - Mizoram
  • Abhi Joshi (14) - Punjab
  • Aryan Kumar (14) - Delhi
  • Harshwardhan Tomar (17) - Madhya Pradesh
  • Pritish Kokate (16) - Maharashtra

17-year-old Tomar is the most experienced member of this group, after having represented and captained India in FIBA U16 Asia Championship and previously played at Italy's Stellazura Academy. Pune's Kokate has also played at a high level in the past, including an U15 international camp in Qatar.

NBA center Brook Lopez of the Los Angeles Lakers was in attendance for the National Finals of the ACG-NBA Jump as well as the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Finals at the Academy this week. Indian basketball star and recently a player for the NBA G-League's OKC Blue Amjyot Singh also attended the programme.

The NBA Academy India - an elite basketball training centre connected to similar NBA Academies around the world - opened at the Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in May 2017. Read more about how the Academy hopes to help realise India's basketball potential in my feature for SLAM Magazine.


  1. Karan thanks for sharing. I often hear about this wonderful initiative of NBA academy, and also recently about UBA pro league bringing the best Indian players together with foreign players, as well as 3x3 pro league.

    At same time I see Indian basketball fans complain of a lack of proper training and the absence of a professional league.

    Please clarify if there is a NBA level academy already for top indian youth and two professional leagues for UBA and Fifa 3x3, then why do indian fans say there is none.

    Is it because the US is behind both initiatives and not india authorities?

    1. Thank you for your question.

      The reason we complain in Indian basketball is that the initiatives run by the NBA (like the Academy) and UBA (the league has ended this year, however) have only served a small number of elite-level players. It's only the best 20-30 young players in the country who have regular access to the NBA Academy. The UBA League only served players in the national stage or foreign players. For the rest of hundred-thousands/million basketball fans and players in India, there continues to be a glaring lack of grassroots basketball development. Many talented young players are not scouted in time, or given correct coaching/training at a young age. For many, even when they make it to the state/national stage, the facilities they have access to are poor. This is largely a failure of India's sports authorities.

      The absence of an Indian pro league is a big issue. The NBA Academy, 3x3 league, etc. can provide some hope for top-level players, but these opportunities are only available for the smallest number of players. For the other 99%, the government/federation needs to help set up better grassroots level high school/college development programmes, and eventually, a pro league that players can aspire for.

  2. Brilliant post, Brother!!
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    1. thank you for your support - great to see you're blogging about sports, too!

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