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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

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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Houston cop Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal remembered, fund set up for family

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Dhaliwal

HOUSTON (Diya TV) —  The loss of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal while on a routine traffic stop has stunned people around the country. Everyone from Texas governor Greg Abbott to the Houston Texans football team are honoring the Dhaliwal. A GoFundMe page has been setup to support his family, with totals so far in excess of $700,000.

Before Prime Minister Modi headed back to India following his Houston community summit & UN speeches, he met with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The Hawaii Congresswoman & Democratic Presidential candidate has been criticized for her support of Modi. But she was happy to highlight the importance of the US-India relationship on Twitter.

The NBA is in India this week for their first-ever preseason games that will feature the Indiana Pacers & Sacramento Kings. The Gateway of India was illuminated with bright colors & there are a series of events in and around the games going on in Delhi & Mumbai.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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