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Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy India Product Amaan Sandhu advocates for professional basketball league in India to help hoopsters, Check OUT

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy India Product Amaan Sandhu advocates for professional basketball league in India to help hoopsters, Check OUT

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy India: Since 14, Amaan Sandhu has not spent much time at home. He has been travelling for most of the last few years. The Indian basketball player spent three years at the NBA Academy India in Noida, which he calls it his family. The player learned some of the important […]

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy India: Since 14, Amaan Sandhu has not spent much time at home. He has been travelling for most of the last few years. The Indian basketball player spent three years at the NBA Academy India in Noida, which he calls it his family. The player learned some of the important tricks of the trade and has played in various parts of the globe ever since. Follow all sports news updates with InsideSport.IN

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It is at that juncture Amaan is in a position to compare the basketball standards of India and other countries. The man from Punjab believes there is a serious need for the country to have a professional league in the country. Recently, Amaan became the first Indian male NBA Academy player to earn Division 1 scholarship in the United States. Sandhu joins the Monmouth Hawks at the center position, standing at 7’0″. He will play D-1 NCAA basketball in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

It is important to note that NBA Academy India is a basketball training center for top Indian prospects, supported by official partner ACG. Amaan was scouted through the ACG-NBA Jump programme as part of the inaugural prospects for the training ceneter at Greater Noida in May 2017.

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy Product Amaan Sandhu advocates for NBA-like professional basketball league in India to help hoopsters, Check OUT

Insidesport
Amaan Sandhu interview: NBA Academy India Product Amaan Sandhu believes India needs a professional league to help the country grow in basketball

In a zoom interaction with InsideSport.IN, lasting for around 15-20 minutes, the player touched upon various points including basketball in Punjab. Some other points being his experience in Global camps and the importance of NBA Academy India. EXCERPTS.

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy Product Amaan Sandhu advocates for NBA-like professional basketball league in India to help hoopsters, Check OUT

Q: You have been NBA Academy India product. What role has the academy helped in grooming youngsters like you in India?  

Amaan: NBA Academy India helps youngsters play basketball as well as teach them the right style of playing the sport. When I was there, I was a 14-year-old big kid, and my weight was around 131-35. My experience in NBA Academy India was so different because I was not ready to play basketball when I was at the academy. We had to make a lot of changes. They had to change my diet. They had to change my training. NBA Academy India teaches you everything across your game. It teaches you how your body should be. It teaches you how you should eat to be in great shape. What to do if you are injured, like injury prevention among many others.

Q: You have been to the NBA global camp in 2018, Academy Games in 2019. Can you talk about such big experiences and the learnings?

Amaan: I got selected and was invited to the camps like the NBA global camp in Italy in 2018. That was my first-time outside India and I saw players from all over the world. The first time I went outside in Italy, I was shocked because the players could jump high and run fast. I did NBA Academy Games in 2019 as well as 2018 which was in Australia – but the 2019 was in the States at the Atlanta Hawks facility.

It was just amazing as we played in the NBA facility. We experience it like how NBA players have. There, I saw a couple of NBA players, and they had come to see us play. In 2020 was the Basketball Without Borders global camp in Chicago at the All-Star Weekend. That was my first time seeing an all-star game. So that camp was amazing. It was the top prospects from across the world of the same age. So, every day you had to compete with them and prove yourself since the campers are the best in their own countries and continents.

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy Product Amaan Sandhu advocates for NBA-like professional basketball league in India to help hoopsters, Check OUT

Insidesport
Amaan Sandhu interview: NBA Academy India Product Amaan Sandhu believes India needs a professional league to help the country grow in basketball

Q: So, what is the difference between Indian basketball and basketball in other countries?

Amaan: The first thing I would start with is that the Indian style of playing basketball is different. Because we still play the old-fashioned game. Everybody needs to kind of realise that basketball changes every 10 years. So, the style of playing basketball in the States is completely different. The style of playing basketball in Europe is very different. So that’s why India has a lot of coaches coming from outside Europe or the US to come and be the head coach to help the Indian team. We are old-fashioned but India is getting there, step by step. We are still progressing.

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy Product Amaan Sandhu advocates for NBA-like professional basketball league in India to help hoopsters, Check OUT

Q: How important is a professional league in India for the betterment of the nation as a basketball playing nation?

Amaan: It is so important. India is a cricket dominant country. Everybody plays cricket in India, like even a small kid, a five-year-old kid got a bat or a ball in the house. But, in India, we do not have a professional league for basketball. Having a league can play a huge part in the progress and development of basketball.  If we can have a league in India, why would anybody choose to go abroad and play somewhere else? If we have a league in India, why would I not play in the Indian League? Having a basketball league will motivate all the players and will want to play in the Indian league. So that motivates players. But nowadays, I do not know what’s happening. But definitely, I would say India needs a basketball league.

Q: You are from Punjab. How is it Punjab has a history of producing quality players?

Amaan: I don’t know exactly. But I would say, probably, because our physical structure is big. We play with our heart. We just give it all when we play. Our history – where Punjab comes from is about how everybody was a warrior. So, I’m not sure but I think it’s just amazing. Everybody who played, who was a big name in India, was produced by Punjab.

Amaan Sandhu NBA: NBA Academy Product Amaan Sandhu advocates for NBA-like professional basketball league in India to help hoopsters, Check OUT

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