Born to Indian parents who moved to the United States in the 1980s, Suyash had a huge passion for the sport as a teenager. After taking up refereeing post his university days, he put in the hard yards and has eventually made it to the top level. Suyash spoke to Indian media in a conference call recently, touching upon a few topics.
How did you react after being appointed as a full-time NBA official?
I will never forget that day – November 27, 2020. I remember it like yesterday. I got a call from our direct supervisor Monty. I completely froze and melted down, thinking if it was real. I took a moment to understand that the hard work, which I had put in for a number of years, had finally paid off. I then made a call to my parents and I could hear the joy in their voices. I will always cherish that moment.
You started from scratch, officiating in the Summer League and the G League. Now that you are a part of the NBA, do you feel a different kind of pressure?
It is entirely different – the players, their athleticism and the ability are unmatched. They are the best in the world for a reason. It takes time to get used to it and I am learning every game. I have an internal competition within myself and it pushes me to get better. You are on court with the best players and you have to make the right decisions. It is something that I am really proud of and I never take the opportunity for granted.
Apart from your debut game, have you had any memorable experiences?
I am so fresh in my career that every game has stuck with me. Ahead of my first game, I was told by one of my mentors to take a 360-degree view of the arena. I remember doing that when I walked on the Chicago Bulls floor. It was a cool and humble experience.
Can you talk us through your
My parents were born in India – my father is from Chandigarh and my mother is from Saharanpur. They moved to America in the 80s to pursue a career in medicine. My mother was a botanist, but later had to raise four kids. We were all born in Baltimore, Maryland. Our first language was Hindi and then we ended up learning English.
What are your thoughts on NBA India and the growth of the game in the country?
I was ecstatic when the announcement for the NBA India Games was made. I am sure it was a big deal to the local people in Mumbai. I am really excited to see the future of basketball in India. The country is heading in the right direction.