Amritpal becomes first Indian to play in Australian basketball league

Former Indian basketball team captain and country’s most talented centre Amritpal Singh will be seen shooting and guarding the Sydney Kings’ rim in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). The 26 year old who picked basketball for the first time when he was 19 will be the first Indian-born player to take to the court in Australia’s National League.

On 06 September 2017, the 7-foot centre was signed by the Sydney Kings as a back-up center, and Amritpal is all but “excited” with the opportunity he got in his third attempt. “The Australian league is a very tough competition and I am more excited than happy with this opportunity that I was able to grab it in my third attempt,” Amritpal told TOI in an exclusive chat from Sydney. Earlier in July, Amrit’s teammate Vishesh Bhriguvanshi became the first Indian to be drafted into the NBL when he was picked by defending champions Adelaide 36ers but will be eligible to play if he replaces an injured player.

Amrit, however, has been signed by the Australian club as a back-up center, and Sydney Kings managing director Jeff Van Groningen believes he will get his crack at creating history during the upcoming season. “We welcome Amritpal to our organisation. We take our responsibility as a member of the global basketball community very seriously and endorse the NBL’s focus on ‘bridge-building’ with those that share an interest and passion for our great game both in India and within the Indian community here in Australia. Standing at 212cm tall, Amrit looks down on most people and it’s been an incredible journey for the young Sikh, who hails from Gunna Pind, a small village of just over 2000 people in Punjab, where he first picked up a basketball when he was 19.

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