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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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Basketball

Bucks bycott Game 5 in wake of Jacob Blake shooting, NBA season now in limbo

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Milwakee Bucks issue a statement

ORLANDO, Florida (Diya TV) — As the video of George Flyod’s killing spread across social media, the Black Lives Matter movement grew stronger & folks took to the streets to protest against police brutality. The NBA’s coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando. This Sunday, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, seven times in the back.

Outraged, the Milwaukee Bucks players, decided to boycott Game 5 of the playoff series against the Orlando Magic. They forfiet the game, but the Magic refused to accept the Bucks’ forfeit and instead, both teams stood united, and the Bucks called Wisconsin’s Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor during “game time”.

The news spread quickly and other teams followed suit, notably the Rockets and Thunder, after Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul discussed the boycott.

Coincidently, four years ago today, former 49er Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finally said that he that he wished they “had listened to Kaepernick earlier.” Kaepernick, who was essentially exiled from the league, has been receiving a lot of praise after today’s boycott.

The players took the “game time” to call the Attorney General Josh Kaul & Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.

Twittersphere saw a barrage of reactions from players, coaches to former president Barack Obama

The 29-year-old, Jacob Blake was shot repeatedly in the back as he attempted to get into his car, while his three children sat inside. Protests have erupted in Kenosha since the shooting, with two people killed after a teenager opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle on Tuesday.

After the historic walkout, a players meeting was organized that continued past midnight in Orlando & sources say there was some frustration in the meeting among the players with the Bucks blindsiding everyone with their walk-out plan. Bucks’ guard, George Hill admitted he first sparked conversation pregame to boycott and his teammates supported.

As the teams voted on the status of the season, the LA Clippers & LA Lakers voted to boycott the NBA season, with LeBron James walking out of the meeting. He was soon followed by all the players from the LA teams.

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India, Pakistan spar over women’s rights in Kashmir

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India

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — At the United Nations, both India and Pakistan’s representatives took shots at their counterpart over women’s rights. Islamabad’s outgoing envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said the women in Jammu and Kashmir were suffering due to the communication blackout in the state. India’s First Secretary to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said, without naming Pakistan, these “baseless statements” were ironic given the amount of honor killings that take place there annually.

Rajeev Majumdar is the new president of the Washington State Bar Association, becoming the first state bar president of South Asian descent in the United States.

For the first time, India entered the ranks of the top ten countries sending visitors to the United States, with tourists from India spending nearly $16 billion in the U.S. in 2018 alone.

And while the Kings and Pacers played two entertaining games in Mumbai, their legacy will include supporting five under-resourced schools in and around the region, outfitting them with Smart Classrooms, STEM training and new basketball courts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Gandhi 150th birth anniversary noted around the world

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Birth Anniversary

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) —  Celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary have been ongoing for the past year, but culminated with a ceremony in New Delhi featuring Prime Minister Modi and another in Washington at the Library of Congress. And France’s government worked with the Indian Embassy there to issue a stamp in honor of his birth anniversary.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal are meeting this week to continue the US-India discussion on trade and investment.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb came to New Delhi to strengthen ties between the Hoosier State and India. Infosys has already made a large commitment there. Holcomb is part of a large delegation of Americans now heading Mumbai to take in the first-ever NBA preseason games in India featuring the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.

Bollywood turned Hollywood actor Anupam Kher came to the Bay Area to keynote the Akshay Patra annual fundraising gala that helps feed children in India a hot meal during the school year.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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