Amritpal Singh has created history by becoming the first Indian-born player to be signed by an Australian NBL team- the Sydney Kings.
INDIAN centre Amritpal Singh will join the Sydney Kings for the 2017/2018 National Basketball League season.
The 26-year-old 212cm giant creates history by becoming the first Indian-born player to be signed by an Australian NBL team.
It's been an incredible journey for the young Sikh, who hails from a village of just over 2,000 people in the state of Punjab in Northern India. Incredibly, he first picked up a basketball at the age of 19.
Singh's rapid ascension into the world of professional basketball will reach another level when he joins his Kings teammates for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the NBL on the greatest stage in the world, travelling to the USA for the Kings pre-season game against the NBA's Utah Jazz on October 3.
Sydney Kings Managing Director Jeff Van Groningen said it was a significant signing for the club and Australian basketball.
"We are excited at what Amritpal can contribute to the Kings as a strong, rebounding big man and we look forward to contributing to his rising career. He is young in the game but secured this opportunity through hard work and professionalism".
The current captain of the Indian national team and star for the Pune Peshwas in the Indian Basketball League, Amritpal first came to the attention of the Kings in April at the NBL Draft Combine held in Melbourne, before impressing during the Sydney Kings Rookie Camp in June.
Those performances earned him a spot on the Sydney Kings Invitational Team that competed in the recent Atlas Challenge tournament in China, where he was a key component of the winning squad.
In particular, Amritpal was a dominant force in the championship game, tallying an impressive 17 points and 16 rebounds as the purple and gold overpowered Lithuania.
His size, mobility and work ethic will be a welcome addition to a revamped Sydney front court that features rookies Isaac Humphries and Dane Pineau, import Perry Ellis and veteran Tom Garlepp.
Sydney Kings Head Coach Andrew Gaze said he was excited to work with Amritpal.
"Amritpal was a very strong contributor to the Kings offseason program, particularly during our invitational tour to China. His rebounding was a major factor that allowed us to win the Suzhou event, and he also picked up our overall playing philosophies and schemes quite quickly," Gaze said.
The Sydney Kings begin their National Basketball League 2017/2018 season with a game on Saturday, October 7, against the Adelaide 36ers at Qudos Bank Arena.