In the fourth round of the D-League draft Sunday, the Long Island Nets made a small move that produced big waves halfway around the world. The Nets’ D-League affiliate took Palpreet Singh Brar, the 6’9” son of an Indian wheat and rice farmer. It became big news in India, where the NBA is trying to market basketball among the country’s 1.5 billion people. Unlike China, basketball in India is not a big thing.
So while Long Island’s selection isn’t such a big deal here, it triggered a wave of news stories throughout the subcontinent. One even got him to pose on the Brooklyn Bridge! The Times of India, the nations premier newspaper, ran two lengthy stories, one on Singh Brar’s selection, one on how he and the D-League’s other Indian, 7-footer Satnam Singh Bhamra, grew up 60 miles apart.
Singh Brar, who’s been training in New York, said he cried when word came that he would become a member of the Nets organization.
"After hearing my name, I became a bit emotional. I was very happy that my dream of playing in the best league will soon come true. I am thankful to ACG NBA Jump for this opportunity. I am happy with the efforts I have put in and will continue to work hard. Now that I am going to compete with some of the best in the world, my focus is to become a stronger player," Palpreet said.
ACG NBA is a league program aimed at finding the best basketball talent in India and Singh Brar was the top player nationwide. He had previously played for the Indian basketball federation’s junior teams, garnering some attention from international scouts when he averaged 21 points a game in the FIBA Asia U18 competition.