“Some people want it to happen; some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” - Michael Jordan
Amritpal Singh, the captain and the pride of Indian Basketball was the 1st Indian to get selected for an Australian National Basketball League (NBL) team. This 29-year-old man who opted Basketball as his career for livelihood has been creating records ever since he started playing basketball in 2009.This 7-ft tall Basketball player recently signed with the Sydney Kings of the Australian NBL team for the year 2017-18.
Early Life before Basketball
Born in a family of farmers in a small village of 2000 people named Ginna Pind of Jalandhar District, Punjab he used to help his father in plowing farm in his childhood days .Singh used to play Kabaddi, and as people in villages play it the most. His family used to grow everything from wheat, rice, and vegetables. Almost everyone in his family was illiterates except his uncle who is working as a principal in a Government School in Ludhiana.
National Team and Academy
In 2009, after noticing his rapid growth in height, his uncle taught he could best fit in Basketball and introduced him to the Basketball Coach of the Punjab Police Academy, Mr.Bhupinder Singh. Singh was then trained and learned the basics of the game from Bhupinder along with the Canadian Coach David John during his coaching camp.
“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” - Larry Bird
In March 2010, Singh started his professional training at the Ludhiana Basketball Academy which has been training talented players and shaping them into international level players. During his training at the academy, he learned a lot from the Legendary Late Sankaran Subramanium and Senior basketball players like Yadwinder Singh, Jagdeep and Singh Bains and improved his gaming skills.
Singh started Basketball initially to secure a job for his livelihood, but as days passed out, he realized that it became an obsession for him. Within a year and a half, he made his international debut in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship at Wuhan, China. Singh never played any junior international tournament before his international debut. He only experienced playing for Punjab Senior Nationals in 2010. After returning from FIBA Championship ONGC offered him a job in Sports Quota. Singh rejected the ONGC offer and started improving his skills as advised by his seniors.
After completing the FIBA Championships in the years 2013 and 2014, Singh then signed with the Tokyo Excellence Team of Japan’s National Basketball Development League(NBDL) in 2015. With his impressive performance in the Summer League, Singh managed to secure a 1-year contract with the Tokyo Team. Later in 2016, he played a significant role in Tokyo Excellence 2016 NBDL Championship win.
Singh then became the Skipper of the Indian National Team for his tremendous contribution to the Indian Basketball. With his outstanding performance as a player, he caught the attention of David Stern, the Head of the World Famous Basketball League, NBA during his visit to Mumbai.
“You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.”
Australian NBA, Sydney Kings
David then invited Singh to participate in the NBL Draft Combine in Melbourne, and he astonished many teams with his performance. Finally, two months after the NBL Draft, Singh was invited to join the Sydney Kings of NBL League becoming the 1st Indian to play for an Australian NBL team.
It doesn’t matter how and where you were born. The only thing that counts is your hard work and the efforts you do to be successful. Nothing will become more comfortable; you just get better at doing what you intend to do.