Trenton (New Jersey), Aug 5 (IANS) Teenaged Indian basketball player Amaan Sandhu made history by becoming the first male Indian basketball player to commit to a NCAA Division 1 college. Sandhu, an alumnus to NBA Academy India, has committed to Monmouth University in West Long Beach, New Jersey ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Sandhu, a native of Mohali, Punjab, is the third player overall from NBA Academy India to earn a Division I basketball scholarship, joining Sanjana Ramesh at Northern Arizona and Harsimran Kaur at San Diego on the women’s side.
“We’re so excited to add Amaan to our programme. His journey to get to where he is now is incredible and we’re glad he chose to come with us. To be one of the first players born in India to ever earn a Division I men’s basketball scholarship is major for Amaan and his family and we can’t wait to get to work with him,” said King Rice, head coach of Monmouth University Men’s Basketball team.
Sandhu was scouted through the ACG-NBA Jump programme as part of the inaugural prospects for the NBA Academy India in May 2017. He was enrolled at the Academy until he joined First Love Christian Academy in the fall of 2020.
While at First Love, Sandhu posted 12.2 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per contest to go along with nearly two assists. He was a 35 per cent three-point shooter and 62.1 per cent from the field while converting 74.9 per cent from the free throw line.
During Sandhu’s tenure with the Academy, he participated in three Basketball Without Borders (BWB) camps, including BWB Asia 2018 in India, BWB Asia 2019 in Tokyo, and BWB Global Camp 2020 in Chicago during NBA All-Star Weekend. He represented NBA Academy India at the 2018 NBA Academy games in Canberra, Australia.
In April 2019, Sandhu participated in the NCAA’s Next Generation Sunday event at the Final Four, where he was a part of life-skills sessions and competed in exhibition contests against players from around the world.
In 2019, Sandhu played with the Indian Men’s Senior National Team at the South Asian Games, resulting in a gold medal. He was also a member of the 2020 Indian National Team at the FIBA Asia qualifiers.
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).