Princepal Singh, a 6'10 forward from Punjab, India, became the first NBA Academy graduate to sign with the NBA G League. He will train and compete alongside several elite youth prospects as part of the G League Ignite, which gives top prospects a chance to begin their professional careers by developing both on and off the court. Five-time NBA champion Brian Shaw will serve as head coach of their team, which will be unaffiliated with any existing NBA G League franchise or NBA team.
Discovered through the ACG NBA Jump Program, Princepal was part of the inaugural NBA Academy India class where he developed his game alongside other top Indian prospects starting in 2017. He transitioned to the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia in late 2018. Princepal has competed in numerous international events, including Basketball Without Borders Asia, Basketball Without Borders Global and the NBA Academy Games, and is the youngest member of the Indian Men's Senior National Team.
Given the NBA's commitment to social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, NBA Academy staff have gathered input from NBA Academy student-athletes, coaches and support staff to design and launch a student-centered experiential social justice program. The four-month program, which is driven by the willingness of these young players to share their opinions and experiences, focuses on a series of readings and discussions based on four themes:
- Awareness, which will focus on self-reflection and identity;
- Allyship, which will encourage players to build trust with each other;
- Advocacy and Activism, which will both help guide and empower players to create the change they seek through local, domestic and international policy and social systems.
To kick off the series, Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon joined a video call with NBA Academy participants to share his experiences and to discuss how he is using his platform to make an impact at the local, domestic and international levels. Malcolm encouraged players to educate themselves on social injustice and racism issues in their local communities, and to use basketball as a tool to positively impact the world.
Tamuri Wigness, an 18-year-old point guard from Cairns, Australia, became the fourth NBA Global Academy graduate to sign a professional contract with the NBL, joining former teammates Mojave King (Australia/New Zealand) and Josh Giddey (Australia).
One of the earliest prospects to join the NBA Global Academy, Tamuri was named an All-Star at Basketball Without Borders Global 2019 and has competed in numerous NBA Academy competitions. He also represented Australia at the 2019 Under 17 FIBA Oceania Championship, where he made the All-Star Five, and the 2019 Under 19 FIBA World Cup.
nba academy alums at top of COLLEGE HOOPS preseason rankings
NBA Academy alums are on four of Yahoo Sports' top eight teams in their preseason rankings. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (Cameroon) and Baylor come in at #2, closely followed by Oumar Ballo (Mali) and Gonzaga at #3 as well as Francisco Caffaro (Argentina) and Virginia at #4. Santiago Vescovi (Uruguay) and Tennessee are early favorites to win the Southeastern Conference title at #8.
Two 17-year-old prospects, 6'6 guard Pranav Prince and 6'8 forward Amaan Sandhu, have accepted full scholarships to continue their athletic and academic development at First Love Christian Academy in Washington, Pennsylvania. Both Pranav and Amaan were identified through the ACG NBA Jump Program and offered the opportunity to join the NBA Academy India. Amaan was a part of the original class of prospects to join in 2017, and Pranav enrolled the following year. Through participation at events such as the NBA Academy Games and Basketball Without Borders, both players are already standing out to college recruiters.
Harsimran 'Honey' Kaur
In July, NBA Academy Women’s Program participant and BWB alum Harsimran ‘Honey’ Kaur committed to play basketball at the University of San Diego. With that commitment, Honey became the third Indian women’s basketball player to earn a Division I scholarship, following in the footsteps of former Academy participant Sanjana Ramesh (Northern Arizona University). A 6’3 forward from Punjab, Honey was also the first non-Australian female prospect to train at the NBA Global Academy. She will spend her final year of high school at Central Pointe Academy in Florida prior to enrolling at USD.
Ann Mary Zachariah & Siya Deodhar
Two NBA Academy Women’s Program alums will join forces next year in the United States, both accepting scholarships to attend Life Prep Academy in Kansas. Both from India, Ann Mary Zachariah and Siya Deodhar aim to develop as athletes and students so that they can make the jump to the college ranks in 2021.
NBA Basketball School Virtual Fan Experience
NBA Basketball School participants were given the opportunity to enter for a chance to be selected to participate in the NBA Virtual Fan Experience. Over 90 NBA Basketball School participants, coaches and staff from Brazil attended one of seven first round playoff games. Additionally, five participants from India joined virtually for Game 7 between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets.
NBA Academy x NBA Basketball School Collaboration
With basketball activity restricted due to COVID-19, NBA Academy and NBA Basketball School staff collaborated to engage prospects across the world for unique interactive experiences.
NBA Academy student-athletes in Brazil and India led Zoom sessions with NBA Basketball School participants from their respective countries, sharing their stories and goals, as well as discussing what it's like to attend an NBA Academy and wrapping up with a Q&A session. NBA Academy coaches and staff demonstrated drills and activities that the NBA Basketball School participants could do from home to continue to develop their game.
On August 21, Dongguan Basketball School and BWB Global 2018 participant Michael Ou was selected first overall in the 2020 CBA Draft by the Shanghai Sharks. Ou, who spent the last two years playing in the United States (Cal State-Northridge), proves that the NCAA pathway can lead to success for Chinese prospects.
Along with Ou, NBA Global Academy alum Tianrong 'Terry' Li and NBA Academy Games participants Dai Hao and Zhang Zhiyao also signed multi-year deals with the Shanghai Sharks.