Despite being only the fourth Indian to be selected for the National Basketball Association (NBA), Prince Pal Singh now wants to serve in the Punjab Police. Sadly, the NBA sensation has yet to receive a job offer from the state government.
The 20-year-old who is 6-foot-10 was selected for the NBA Summer League in August of this year based on his commendable performances in the NBA-G Ignite league.
After returning from Los Angeles 10 days ago after winning the NBA Summer League Championship for his club SAC, Prince has yet to gain the attention of the Punjab sports authorities.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Prince said, âI have many job postings from various parts of the country including the Indian Air Force, but I want to serve in the Punjab Police. Unfortunately, even after achieving the feat, I fail to get the attention of the state government because no one offered me a job here.
“The players must feel safe”
On a related note, Punjab Basketball Association general secretary Teja Singh Dhaliwal said the government needs to understand that the players are the real heroes, not the leadership. âFinancial support is important for the growth of players and to strengthen a player’s foundation from the early stage. Our country has forgotten many of these heroes. The future of our players must be secured and they must be secured by the government with respectable jobs so that they feel secure, âsaid Dhaliwal.
Prince believes that even though the sport has grown in popularity in India since the NBA started hosting tournaments, the government still needed to be involved and play a central role in improving the game in the country.
âThe government should organize special league tournaments in India like we have IPL for cricket, because playing with international stars will stimulate local talent,â he added.
“Watching Lebron play was a dream come true”
Hailing from a small village of Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur, meeting NBA legends like Lebron James was a dream come true for Prince: âI am grateful to my coaches Jaipal Singh, Harjinder Singh and Teja Singh Dhaliwal , to have polished my talent here. to the academy through which I was able to reach the NBA. Watching people like Lebron play in front of my eyes was nothing short of a dream come true.
Sharing his four-year journey of playing the game, Prince revealed that he was 16 when he reached Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, and it was his first time seeing a basketball court.
Prince is inspired by his own local teammate and senior academy basketball player Palpreet Singh Brar, who also played for the NBA before him. Giving a message to aspiring players, Prince said players need to stay determined and focused to live their dreams.
District Sports Officer (DSO) Ravinder Singh commenting on the matter said the government would be happy to offer Prince a job. âSince he has brought laurels to the country, the government of Punjab will be happy to offer him a job. There is a process for hiring players which can take some time.