Riyanshu Negi, an 18-year-old from Roorkee, Uttarakhand, on Thursday, became the fourth Indian male student-athlete from NBA Academy India to commit to a high school or college Basketball program in the US.
He joined DME Sports Academy – a prep school in Daytona Beach, Florida — and thus became the third such student-athlete in the last five months to seal such a move.
“They were really happy for me,” Riyanshu Negi told how excited his parents were in an interview with NBA.com.
“It was a surreal moment for me because obviously, I wasn’t expecting it,” he added.
Jagshaanbir Singh (Golden State Prep, Point Park University), Pranav Prince (First Love Christian Academy), and Amaan Sandhu (First Love Christian Academy) are three other Indian male student-athletes who have taken this route before.
Negi was one of the first 21 student-athletes to join the NBA Academy India when it first opened its doors in 2017. ACG, which is also the official partner of NBA Academy India, has been helping in conducting these programs since 2016.
His time at the academy helped him in growing as a shooting guard at the Academy. The 6’3″ lad also gained in a lot of strength with the help of weight training here, which has now made him a force to reckon with on the court.
“Coaches over there changed my shooting form completely and I wasn’t as good of a shooter when I entered the Academy but now, I can shoot the ball really well. I think that was the main thing that I improved,” Negi said.
“I remember when I entered the Academy, I was like 64 kgs and I gained a lot. I was 78 in 2019,” Negi shares. “Coach Todd [NBA Academy India’s strength and conditioning coach], he really helped me. It was great that I improved my body and it’s going to help me,” he added.
Negi got to play in a lot of tournaments and basketball development camps like the 2017 and 2018 NBA Academy Games, and the 2017 NBA Asia Pacific Camp in China, during his stint with the NBA Academy India and thus got the opportunity to hone his skills at the top level.