New Delhi (India): In a historic move, two of the top Indian basketball players, have signed professional contracts for a Summer League team in Japan. Amjyot Singh, 6 foot-9 inch forward, and 7-foot centre Amritpal Singh have signed a 3-month contract with the Hyogo Impulse of the BJ Challenge Summer League. They will be the first ever Indians to play professional basketball in Japan.
Both Amjyot and Amritpal have been stars of the Indian Men’s National Team over the past two years, leading them to the historic, first ever victory over China in 2014 during the 4th FIBA Asia Cup held in Wuhan, China. The two Indian big men will participate against Japanese hopefuls with an eye toward being picked up for one of the three professional leagues in Japan – the top league – NBL (National Basketball League), its development league – NBDL (National Basketball Development League), or the BJ League.
Products of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy and students of the late Coach Dr. S. Subramaniam, the two were relatively late to start the game. Amjyot began playing only after a cricket injury forced him to switch games and Amritpal was discovered by a coach at the age of 19. Both picked up the game very quickly and made themselves mainstays on the Indian National Team, eventually becoming two vital pieces to former Indian National Team Head Coach Scott Flemming over the past two years.
Amjyot and Amritpal had attempted to go overseas previously, but not until their Managers – Rohit Bakshi and Himamshu Dabir – were able to team up with well-respected Internationally Certified FIBA Agent Toshi Koga of Japan, were they able to secure International Contracts.
The duo’s representatives hope that this historic move will open pathways for many more Indian players to gain collegiate and professional opportunities in Japan.
In a statement the three representatives jointly state,
“This is just the beginning, right now Indian basketball is relatively unknown across India and the world, but with Amjyot and Amritpal going to Japan, they will show that India has the talent to compete against the top international players across Asia. We are sure that they will be successful and be trailblazers for the current and future generations of Indian basketballers.”
About DIME Initiatives:
A “dime” in basketball vernacular, is a nice pass that leads to the basket of a teammate, in other words it’s a pretty assist. DIME Initiatives aims to assist all level of basketballers to obtain their highest basketball potential through training (both elite and introductory) and finding them opportunities abroad while becoming better and contributing members of society during and long after their playing careers. DIME Initiatives has begun a basketball academy in Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida with the long-term vision of creating an Elite Boarding Academy to train the top talent across India and prepare them for their professional careers domestically and abroad.
YounGuns, founded by Rohit Bakshi, is an organization dedicated to sending players abroad to obtain international experience and exposure. Future endeavors of YounGuns include a professional 3×3 entertainment basketball league in India. YounGuns has a training program in Gurgaon, Haryana that started in January, 2013.