Mumbai, August 12 (IANS) So focused was Riyanshu Negi on playing basketball and studying in Canada that he kept bombarding Todd McKillop, head coach, Crandall University, with emails and looking for an opportunity to be a part of of his team.
And it finally came to him a few weeks back, and NBA Academy India candidate Negi immediately got involved at Crandall University in New Brunswick, Canada. He will attend Crandall University on a September scholarship. He becomes the third NBA Academy India candidate to sign with a collegiate program in North America. The others are Pranav Prince, Amaan Sandhu and Lalhnehpuia Chhakchhuak.
“I started sending an email to the coach last year and at the time he was like, they only came with offers for three international students and the coach was like ‘I really want you, but I can not have you on because of the policy ‘. He already had three international players. So I kept emailing. He was like ‘I might have an international place’ and I was really excited. As I said, I sent an email to the coach from last year, so it meant a lot to get this chance, “said Negi during an online interaction on Thursday. He said he was really excited to play at Crandall University.
Negi, who joined NBA Academy India in 2017 as part of the first class of student-athletes, most recently played for the DME Sports Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida.
During his time at NBA Academy India, the 19-year-old shooting guard from Roorkee, Uttarakhand competed in several international basketball events, including the 2017 and 2018 NBA Academy Games and the 2017 NBA Asia Pacific Camp in China.
Coach McKillop said that among the things in Negi that attracted him was his persistence as he kept in touch via email and sent him his videos.
“Riyanshu brings with him a very high basketball IQ and the ability to shoot the ball deep,” McKillop said.
“He also has great maturity and lots of leadership potential and will fit well into the culture of our program.”
In addition to Negi, five other NBA Academy India student-athletes have committed to colleges, prep schools, and collegiate basketball programs in the United States.
They include Jagshaanbir Singh (Golden State Prep, Point Park University), Pranav Prince (First Love Christian Academy), Amaan Sandhu (First Love Christian Academy), Harshwardhan Tomar (KEBA Preparatory School) and Lalhnehpuia Chhakchhuak (North Park University). Princepal Singh is the first NBA Academy India candidate to sign a professional contract when he joined the NBA G League Ignite for the 2020-21 season.
Asked where he sees himself 10 years down, Negi said he would play professional basketball in Europe, Japan, Australia or any other country.
“Of course, playing in the NBA is the dream of every basketball player. I want to play as a professional basketball player at the highest level, ”he said, adding that representing India internationally is his second dream.
“It is an honor to represent the country, so I will definitely represent India internationally,” Negi said.
bsk / kh