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Indian American James Blackmon Jr. Declares for the NBA Draft

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James Blackmon Jr.
James Blackmon Jr.

James Blackmon Jr., an Indian-American basketball player who stands No. 9 on the Hoosiers all-time scoring list, has declared for the NBA Draft.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indiana University’s James Blackmon Jr. has made it official: he announced via his Instagram page Monday that he remains committed to being drafted to play in the NBA, and will sign with an agent soon.

The announcement by the Hoosiers shooting guard to participate in the NBA’s June draft came just days after he walked across the stage to receive his degree from Indiana University.

At age 22, Blackmon Jr. is hoping to become just the third Hoosiers product to find himself an agent from the squad’s current team. Teammates OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant have already signed with agents. Playing two seasons in Bloomington, Blackmon started 45 games and averaged 15.7 points per game. The Chicago-born player, whose mother is Indian American, ranks ninth on storied basketball program’s all-time scoring list.

“I would like to thank my family for being there through all of the ups and the downs,” Blackmon wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank my teammates, who have became brothers to me, for pushing me everyday. I would like to thank the fans and everyone who has supported me throughout my career at Indiana University. I would like to thank God for allowing me to play a game I love. With that being said, after much reflection and discussion with my family, I have decided to remain in the 2017 NBA Draft and sign with an agent.”

I would like to thank my family for being there through all of the ups and the downs. I would like to thank my teammates, who have became brothers to me, for pushing me everyday. I would like to thank the fans and everyone who has supported me throughout my career at Indiana University. I would like to thank God for allowing me to play a game I love. With that being said, after much reflection and discussion with my family, I have decided to remain in the 2017 NBA Draft and sign with an agent. After graduating Indiana in three years, I am thrilled to take the next step in my basketball career and pursue a lifelong dream. The past three years have been an amazing ride. Through blood, sweat, and tears, putting on that Indiana Jersey every game and playing in front of die hard Indiana fans was an honor and privilege.The past three years have brought memories and relationships I will never forget. Bloomington will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you Hoosier Nation! #newbeginnings -JBJ

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He wrote that after graduating in three years, “I am thrilled to take the next step in my basketball career and pursue a lifelong dream.”

Blackmon added: “The past three years have been an amazing ride. Through blood, sweat, and tears, putting on that Indiana Jersey every game and playing in front of die hard Indiana fans was an honor and privilege.The past three years have brought memories and relationships I will never forget. Bloomington will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you Hoosier Nation! #newbeginnings –JBJ.”

 

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Deaths of Indian American family in Iowa ruled murder-suicide

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Iowa murder suicide

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Diya TV) — Iowa police say the shooting deaths of an Indian American family in West Des Moines, Iowa was a murder-suicide. Police said autopsies determined 44-year-old Chandrasekhar Sunkara’s death was a suicide. And the deaths of his wife, 41-year-old Lavanya Sunkara, and their two boys, aged 15 and 10, were homicides.

Top diplomats from the U.S. and India are meeting later this month to continue trade negotiations.

India said this week they will increase tariffs on US exports effective immediately, impacting items like apples, almonds, lentils and several chemical products.

The tax has raised the ire of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who blamed the situation on President Trump. California almond exports to India are worth more than $650 million a year.

21-year-old Bishwajeet Kumar Jha, who authorities say was the head of a group of Indian college students who cheated more than 20 people out of nearly $1 million in a tech support telemarketing fraud scheme, received a five year sentence to prison in Rhode Island.

And we’ll introduce you to the pioneering broadcasters who called the NBA Finals in Punjabi for the very first time.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Indian American family of four killed at home in Iowa

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Iowa Family killed

DES MOINES (Diya TV) — Investigators in Des Moines, Iowa say the Sunkara family, an Indian American family of four, were found dead in their home over the weekend. All four had gunshot wounds. There is no suspect in custody.

The 5th International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated around the world this weekend. Thousands flocked to the Washington Monument in Washington DC, where yoga enthusiasts of all ages took part in the event, including representatives from the White House, US Department of State and the Ambassadors of Nepal, Mauritius and Myanmar.

The alums of the Indian Institutes of Technology gathered in Silicon Valley for their annual conference, featuring talks by Microsoft Chairman John Thompson and Bhavish Aggarwal, the CEO of Ola Cabs.

India is now 7-0 against Pakistan in Cricket World Cup games, after winning by 89 runs in a match interrupted by rain.

And we spoke to Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia after his team won their first NBA title. Nav told our Ravi Kapur exclusively he will part of the championship parade and even received a ring from the owner.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Raptors win first ever NBA championship over the Golden State Warriors

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Toronto Raptors win 2019 NBA Finals

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) —  The first Canadian team ever to win the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors fought earnestly and took down the NBA’s newest dynasty: the Warriors. The Raptors faced many hurdles in the playoffs, trailing 1-0 against the Magic and 2-0 against the Bucks. They put all of that behind and surged towards a 3-1 start in the Finals, which became increasingly difficult for the Warriors to overcome as they were tackled with injuries.

Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP, joined an elite group of players which have won a Finals MVP on two different teams. Among these players are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James, and now Leonard with a Finals MVP with San Antonio and Toronto.

Toronto was filled with star-power, with Fred VanVleet stepping up in the fourth quarter with three-pointers, and Pascal Siakam taking crucial layups in the paint. Kyle Lowry contributed throughout the series, whether rebounds, points, or simply aggression was needed. This lineup, together, took down NBA’s lastest dynasty.

The Warriors, however, put up a worthy fight, staying inches away from winning even with their best player Kevin Durant out and then the sudden loss of Klay Thompson in Game 6. Both teams fought with fervor and passion, with the Raptors inching closer to the Larry O’Brian Trophy as every second on the clock.

Looking Ahead

With the offseason looming, many questions are yet to be answered. Will this Raptors team maintain its core and stay together? If so, will they be able to storm into next season with skillful play? Most likely, yes. After what they have put together, the intention would be to establish themselves as the new NBA dynasty and completely overthrow the Warriors. Nick Nurse won his first championship in his first season coaching the Raptors. With the coach not likely to move, it seems as if the core will stay in place.

The Warriors’ offseason is uncertain, as this aging team has its contracts expiring. Kevin Durant is invariably out for next season after suffering a devastating achilles injury. Will he stay with the Warriors, or will he sign with another team? His injury may influence which team picks him up, as he will be out of commission for the upcoming season. Klay Thompson will become a free agent, but will he stick with the Warriors and his fellow Splash Brother Steph Curry, or lead another team? In addition, players like Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston are aging and may not be able to play as much. The Warriors will need to cultivate the young players, like Alfonzo McKinnie, to be successful.

This was the Warriors’ last game in Oracle Arena, as next season, they will be moving to Chase Center in San Francisco. Will they be able to make a championship run there, or will the Raptors emerge victorious again? It all remains unanswered, but for now, the Raptor roars.

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