Palpreet Singh Brar
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NBA minor league/ 2016
Palpreet Second Indian To Play In World's Top Competition
From a very early age, basketball dominated Palpreet Singh Brar's dreams. But in the middle of last year, plagued by knee injury and frustrated by limited opportunities in India, the 22-year-old son of a Punjab farmer almost decided to give up the sport. But fate had other plans -in an unprecedented initiative, the National Basketball Association (NBA) launched its first-ever talent search programme in India and, following sufficient prompting by his roommates, Palpreet decided to make one last effort.
Early on Monday , Palpreet's patience paid off as the 6feet-9-inch hoopster from Muktsar Sahib became the second Indian -after Satnam Singh -to walk into the world's best basketball league. Palpreet made the NBA's minor league -the D-League -when he was picked by Long Island Nets, the NBA development league affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets.
Last year, Satnam was selected by Dallas Mavericks, while Long Island picked Palpreet from the 2016 D-League draft. The D-League is NBA's official minor league, played with 22 teams. Palpreet was the 12th pick in the fourth round and 76th overall D-League Draft pick. “I am really ex cited and very eager to play for my new team and showcase my talent in front of the best in the world. Before the draft, I was a bit nervous but had the intuition that some of the team will surely pick me. I had a sleepless night on Saturday but I am still wide awake,“ he told TOI over phone from New York, adding: “This is just the beginning and I will continue to work hard with the Nets.“
Palpreet, who has no previous experience of basketball at this level, was incidentally in tears when his name was picked.
“After hearing my name, I became emotional. I was very happy that my dream of playing in the best league will soon come true. I am thankful to ACG NBA Jump for this opportunity . I am happy with the efforts I have put in. Now that I am going to compete with some of the best in the world, my focus is to become a stronger player,“ Palpreet said.