New Delhi (India): Indian cagers, Amjyot Singh Gill and Amritpal Singh, have secured professional contracts with Tokyo Excellence, a team in the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) of Japan. After putting up impressive performances in the BJ Challenge Summer League from June to August playing for the Hyogo Impulse team, the Punjab products have bagged one-year contracts in the development league for Japan’s National Basketball League.
The NBDL was established in 2013 as a second-tier league below the National Basketball League. Tokyo Excellence has been the team with the best record in NBDL’s brief history, having won both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 championships. Based in Itabashi in the Tokyo metropolis, the team’s vision is to increase the interest of its citizens in sports, energize the people of the Itabashi area, and to strengthen the people’s passion and pride towards Itabashi. The team has active participation in hometown activities and events, including visits to schools and mentoring young basketball teams.
After creating history earlier in the year by becoming the first ever Indians to play professional basketball in Japan, Amjyot Singh, 6-foot-9 inch forward, and 7-foot centre Amritpal Singh have gone one step further from the BJ Challenge Summer League into a more competitive season-long NBDL. The period of their contracts is from 1st September 2015 to 31st March 2016. Expressing their happiness over the new opportunity, Amjyot and Amritpal said that they felt blessed and will look to do their best to make India proud.
The young cagers have been mainstays 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 5th FIBA Asia Cup held in Wuhan, China. Having learnt the fundamentals of the game at Ludhiana Basketball Academy under late Coach Dr. S. Subramaniam, the duo were quick developed their game and became vital to the Indian National Team’s success under former Coach Scott Flemming.
This significant move has been made possible by the behind-the-scenes effort put in by their managers, Rohit Bakshi (from YounGuns) and DIME Initiatives, along with well-respected Internationally Certified FIBA Agent Toshi Koga of Japan. “I’m just so happy that these kids are making India proud in Japan. These kids were trained in India and are showcasing their training at a high level. The Indian basketball fraternity needs to support them and help them get further by all means!” said their co-manager, Rohit Bakshi.
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.