Some passions never die

It has been almost a year since Gagandeep Singh was a high school student, but one thing remains unchanged: his love of cricket. For over a decade, Singh has been bowling, batting and fielding his way to playing for the top cricket teams in the nation.

Though most would view cricket as a very non-traditional sport for a young boy to choose, their claims could not be further from the truth for Singh. Born into a culture with a rich history of involvement in the sport, he began playing competitively at 7, taking after his father who grew up playing cricket in India.

“[My father] had even competed at state level, playing for New Delhi,” Singh said. Due to this family history, it seemed to be only a matter of time before the young boy would grow up to become as skilled a player as his father.

But things did not always come so naturally for the budding seven-year-old crick- eter.

“At first, I hated it,” Singh said. “I used to go to the grounds and tell my coach, ‘I love basketball, and I’m going to play in the NBA one day!’”

It was a slow start for little Singh, but after getting his first taste of cricket, his opinion of the game shifted.

“Instantly, I was in love,” Singh said.

It was not always fun and games, however. These competitive training routines, he recalled, were intense.

“I would literally cry as my hands would bleed and my coach would make me keep taking catches and running laps for every catch that I would drop,” Singh said.

In retrospect, however, Singh feels that his long hours of hard work only strength- ened his work ethic and appreciation of the sport.

“My greatest contribution on the field is the dedication I give cricket. I would al- ways give my 110%,” Singh said.

That commitment to his goals has taken him far in his athletic career. Singh rose through the ranks to play for and captain the national U11, U13, U17 and U19 teams. His highest level of competition has been the USA U17 team.

“My proudest achievement in the sport was in 2012, captaining the U17 national squad. Northwest was undefeated for seven years, and I captained the Southwest U17 to victory in the finals.”

Singh currently plays in the adult league of the Southern California Cricket Associa- tion and hopes to become the top wicket-taker in the league.