Greater Noida: Princepal Singh and Amaan Sandhu were born 21 months apart in the hinterlands of Punjab and about 16 years later the two are at the cusp of making it big in basketball thanks to The NBA Academy India, which located in the Jaypee Sports City here about 75 kilometres from Delhi.
Both Amaan, the younger one, and Princepal tower over 6 ft 9 inch and their height itself does not qualify them to be where they are—there has been hard work, long hours of training and sweat that has catapulted the two in a position only a few in India could think of.
Having spent over a year at the academy and developed their basketball skills NBA style, they call it NBA ways, the two have been chosen by their director here to attend a scouting camp in Europe which could open up avenues for them.
“If I actually get the chance to go there in Italy I will try and do best to observe how others are playing and executing their skills. There is a lot of difference between what we play in India and how they play,” said Amaan on the sidelines of Day2 of the Basketball Without Borders Asia Camp here.
“You don’t get to play alongside the best in Asia every day, and also train under the best in the world. This Basketball Without Borders is a great platform for all campers to showcase their talent and take in as much as possible,” said Amaan, whose parents were both basketball players.
Princepal, on the other hand, was pushed into playing basketball by his early coach Jaipal Singh when he was actually seriously playing volleyball at the school level. The Gurdaspur-born Princepal was more interested in volleyball as his height gave him the much-needed advantage, but he was spotted in Ludhiana by Jaipal Singh and his life changed.
“Jaipal Singh coaxed me to take up basketball suggesting that my body structure was more suited towards this sport and I decided to give it a try,” is how Princepal narrated his first brush with basketball.
“It’s a great feeling to have the camp here in India. At home, there is always an extra motivation to do your best. But having said that, this camp also is a great opportunity for Indian campers to learn from the best and see where they stand,” said Princepal.