With a population of over 1.2 Billion people with a majority of the young generation, India has a huge potential to achieve global dominance in sports. And it is no less true in Basketball. Although India has taken major steps forward in certain sports, Basketball still remains neglected in the country. Nonetheless, gems emerge even in the scarce resources in the past decade. Here’s a list of 10 famous Indian Basketball players who made it big through the years.
|S.N||Indian Basketball Players|
|1||Sat Prakash Yadav|
|5||Geethu Anna Jose|
Sat Prakash Yadav: Indian Basketball Players
|Born||April 2, 1955 (age 66)|
|Sat Prakash Yadav Height||6’2”|
Sat Prakash Yadav is one of the better-known Indian Basketball players. Playing at the guard position in his time, he is a former captain of the Indian Basketball Team. He was also the head coach of the Indian Basketball Team from 2015 to 2017. The team qualified and secured 7th place in the Men’s FIBA Asia Challenge Cup 2016 after 27 years under his coaching.
He was also the Head Coach of the Indian Women’s Basketball Team in the 16th Asian Games 2010 which finished 6th in the tournament. The Indian Women’s Basketball Team won all the matches played in the 22nd FIBA Asia Basketball Championship 2007 qualifying for the Level-I for the First Time ever under him.
Achievements of Indian Basketball Players: Sat Prakash Yadav
- Represented India in the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship 1981 held at Calcutta.
- Represented India in the IX Asian Games held at Delhi 1982.
- Represented India in an International Invitational Basketball Championship 1982 held in Seoul (South Korea).
- Represented India in the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship 1983 held in Hong Kong.
- Represented India in 3rd. Crown Prince’s Cup International Invitational Basketball Championship 1983 held in Bangkok and won the silver medal
- Represented India in the Eight Test Matches series in 1983 against visiting Athlete in Action (USA) Basketball Team and won the series
- Captain of the Indian team in the Benson and Hedges Cup International Invitational Basketball Tournament 1984 held at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
- Captain of the Indian team in the Merlion Cup International Invitational Basketball Championship 1984 held in Singapore.
Akilan Pari: Indian Basketball Players
|Born||20 July 1989 (age 31)|
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
|Akilan Pari Height||5’10”|
Listed just 5 ft 10 inch high, Akilan Pari is one of those rare talented Indian Basketball players who has been successful in proving that heart is above the height in the game. Akilan served as the captain of the Indian Basketball team in 2018 playing at the point guard position. He has also captained the Tamil Nadu State’s official lineup in U-13, U-16, U-18, and senior level. In 2013, Pari had his fanboy moment come true when he was selected in the Sprite Uncontainable Game of the NBA All-Star Weekend. In fact, NBA superstars like LeBron James and Serge Ibaka coached him in the contest. The Tamilian used this experience to train harder and become one of the best ball handlers and passers in the country.
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi: Indian Basketball Players
|Born||13 November 1991 (age 29)|
Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|Vishesh Bhriguvanshi Height||6’5”|
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi is one of the most talented Indian Basketball players to ever play for India. Bhriguvanshi averaged staggering numbers playing in 11 games for Bengaluru Beast in the UBA with 30.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.2 assists. In fact, he dropped 57 points and 11 assists against the rival Hyderabad in one of the games. He is the first Indian player to sign a deal with an NBL (National Basketball League, Australia) team, Adelaide 36ers. Although, he did not appear in any game for the 36ers during the 2017–18 NBL season Bhriguvanshi signed a one-year training deal on 7 July 2017 with the team.
Prashanti Singh: Indian Basketball Players
|Born||5 May 1984 (age 37)|
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Position||Small forward/Shooting guard|
|Prashanti Singh Height||5’8”|
Prashanti Singh is among the biggest names in Indian Women’s Basketball. The 35-year old shooting guard hailing from Varanasi created history in 2019. She became the first Indian basketball player to be conferred with the civilian award Padma Shree by the Hon President of India Ram Nath Kovind. Prashant is the most decorated basketball player in India. She has 23 medals in the National Championships, National Games, and Federation Cups in India. Singh even holds the record of highest medals tally in National Championships. Also, she is a member of the International Women’s Film Forum of the Asian Academy of Film & Television.
Achievements of Indian Basketball Players: Prashanti Singh
- 2019: Padma Shri by Government of India
- 2017: Arjuna Award by Government of India
- December 2016-17: Rani Laxmi Bai Award (Outstanding Sports Person) by Uttar Pradesh Government
- 2015-16 : Poorvanchal Ratna (Top Sports Person)
- 2015: Shakti Samman by APN News
- 2015: UP ke Sartaj titled by Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM.
- 2015: National record with 23 medals for one team in senior level.
- 2013: Lokmat Samman (sportsperson of the year 2013) in Lucknow.
Geethu Anna Jose: Indian Basketball Players
|Born||30 June 1985 (age 35), Changanasserry, Kottayam, India|
|Geethu Anna Jose Height||6’2”|
Geethu Anna Jose is a former captain of the Indian Women’s Basketball Team. She was a part of the Junior Volleyball Team of Kerala before joining the Southern Railway Basketball Team. She is the first professional Indian woman basketball player to play for an Australian club, Ringwood Hawks from 2006 to 2008. WNBA teams like Chicago Sky, Los Angeles Sparks, and San Antonio Silver Stars invited her for tryouts in April 2011. On the back of her Most Valuable Player-worthy performance in 2008, she has clinched a spot in Team Dandenong in the Women’s NBL (Australia’s elite professional league). But she couldn’t accept the offer due to personal reasons.
Anitha Pauldurai: Indian Basketball Players
|Born||22 June 1985 (age 35)|
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Anitha Pauldurai Height||5’7”|
Anitha Pauldurai is the most consistent Indian Basketball players. She retired recently in 2018. Anitha is the first Indian woman to play in consecutive eight Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) championships. She was in the top 10 players of the FIBA Asian Women’s Championship 2013. In May 2013, she won the Gold Medal in the first ever 3 on 3 FIBA Asian Basketball Championship Doha. She has the Most valuable player awards in prestigious all-India tournaments held in Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Coimbatore, Karur, Chennai, Ramu memorial trophy, Savio cup.
|Born||1953 (age 68 years), Karnal|
|Ajmer Singh Height||6’6”|
Ajmer Singh was the first legendary Indian Basketball player. He was born on 12th December 1953 in Rukanpur village, Haryana. Singh joined the Haryana Police after his education before practicing Volleyball. However, after giving it a try, the 6’6″ tall athlete found his passion in Basketball. He took the important decision of leaving Volleyball and devoted all his time toward his newfound sport. Ajmer Singh also took the brave decision of moving to Kota, which had a long tradition when it came to Basketball.
After making it to the national team, Ajmer Singh performed big at the 1980 Olympic Games held in Moscow. He is an Arjuna Awardee of 1982. He is the only Indian to be one of the top 10 shooters in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Although India finished 12th (out of 12 countries) in the Olympics, Ajmer’s performance is one of the most unique Indian achievements in the Olympics history.
|Born||19 December 1991 (age 29 years), Amritsar|
|Amritpal Singh Height||6’11”|
Amritpal Singh is the first-ever men’s Indian Basketball player to play for Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). He signed with the Sydney Kings after impressing in workouts, training camps, and the pre-season tour, and plays a consistent backup center for the team in the NBL. Amritpal played in many major tournaments including the South Asian Basketball Championship, the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, and the FIBA Asia Cup. He was crowned the MVP in the South Asian Championship and leading team India to the tournament title in the process.
|Born||27 January 1992 (age 29)|
|Position||Power forward / Small forward|
|Amjyot Singh Height||6’8”|
Amjyot is the second Indian to make it to the NBA’s G-League with the Oklahoma City Blue. The sharp-shooting 6-foot-8 forward is performing consistently in the league striving towards his goal of playing in the NBA one day. He was the captain of the Indian Basketball team at the FIBA Asia Cup. Amjyot played big for the nation, finishing the tournament leading the team in points (13.0) and assists (4.3). The 27-year old now plays for Wisconsin Herd in the NBA G-league. He was involved in some controversy last year which brought him banishment of a year for indisciplinary actions.
|Born||December 10, 1995 (age 25)|
Baloke, Punjab, India
|Satnam Singh Height||7’2”|
Satnam Singh is undoubtedly the most heard name in India when it comes to Basketball. In 2015, Satnam became the first India-born player to be drafted into the NBA (American Basketball League). He was drafted by the Mavericks following as 52nd overall pick in the second round but was later waived. Then he played in the G-league for a couple of years. He currently plays for the St. John’s Edge in the NBL of Canada. The expectations have always been huge from the Indian Big Man but he never lived up to any of them. He averaged 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in the NBA G-League 2015-16. He even participated in the 2016-17 season but played only eight games, averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.