With the new academic year for 2019-20 upon us, there has been a slew of announcements around Indian basketball players abroad, who have committed to North American high schools and colleges as student-athletes.

This is both a heartening as well as disconcerting sign. It shows that India’s upcoming basketball talent is on par with the rest of the world. More importantly, it brings these players under the radar of top international scouts, thereby dramatically increasing their chances of becoming future pros.

On the flipside though, this ‘Great Indian Basketball Exodus‘ as I’d like to call it, is also a reflection of the continued lack of facilities (both coaching as well as training centres/venues) and structured competition in India (no school, college or 5×5 Pro League).

List of Indian Basketball Players Abroad (High School/College only)
#1 Sanjana Ramesh- North Arizona University

#2 Asmat Kaur Taunque- The Lawrenceville School, New Jersey
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Recent developments covered by media

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#3 Khushi Dongre- ASA College, Miami

#4 Aashay Verma- Butte College, California

#5 Vaishnavi Yadav- Pensacola State College, Florida
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#SheGotGame #IndiaBasketball phenom @yadavvaishanavi has committed to join Pensacola State College, Florida. She follows in the wake of @akulakavita and @sanjana_ramesh14 in the pursuit of American college hoop dreams. Pensacola College is part of the NJCAA Conference, which is a notch lower than the NCAA. That said it is expected that, like Kavita before her, Vaishnavi should be eligible to transfer to an NCAA D1 college after a few years. We wish Vaishnavi the very best as a budding student-athlete. Keep making us proud Vaishnavi, and don't forget us when you become a WNBA superstar! #Repost @nbaacademy ・・・ Congrats to #NBAAcademy India Women’s Camp Alum @yadavvaishanavi for your commitment to @pensacolastatecollege! — In the words of Head coach Penny Belford "We are very excited to have Vaishnavi join the Lady Pirate family. She will bring a wealth of playing experience and excitement for the upcoming season."

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#6 Jagshaan Bir Singh- Golden State College, California

#7 Srishti Suren- University of Winnipeg, Canada

There is also an eighth player from India who has joined a US high school, but has requested privacy. So we are respecting this player’s request. 

The above is just the initial list, and we can expect more names to get added with every passing year. That said, already, two interesting trends have become obvious:

#1 NBA Academy Programs have begun delivering on promises

From the above eight players, at least six have got recruited directly or indirectly thanks to exposure received from, and initiatives run by, the NBA Academy. NBA Academy’s ‘Academy Women’s Program (AWP)’ launched only in 2018, has especially been paying dividends.

#2 Female ballers doing better than male counterparts

Only two male athletes currently feature on this list. This has perhaps got to do with the fact that generally speaking in India female students fare better in classrooms than their male counterparts. What this implies is that compared to women, male athletes from India are perhaps struggling to meet the academic criteria required for admission in North American colleges. This was believed to be one of the reasons that Satnam Singh never managed to get into a US college and therefore decided to turn pro directly after high school.

Names not included in above list

The above list only includes current student-athletes in the US. So players like Kavita Akula (the first Indian national to receive a D1 scholarship who graduated earlier this year), or Prudhvi Reddy (Europe + US) are not included. Also not included are players like Princepal Singh, who is currently at the NBA Global Academy, Australia.

This list also doesn’t include Indian pro players who played abroad in the 2018-19 season like Amjyot Singh, Jeena Scaria and Satnam Singh, but are currently not on contract.


Gopalakrishnan R
Leave a replyComments (1)
  1. Jayasankar Menon 1 month ago

    Good job .. Gopal.. I am sure that this list will inspire many more budding youngsters.. keep projecting Indian Basketball..


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