Satnam Singh Bhamara created history on Friday when he became the first Indian basketball player to be drafted into the NBA. The 19-year-old was picked as the 52nd pick at the 2015 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. Basketball has become quite a professional sport in India in the last couple of years with NBA having an active presence in the metro cities.
Singh is 7’2 and 290 pounds. He was 7 feet tall when he was 14. These days, he wears size-22 basketball shoes. His father, Balbir Singh Bhamara, is also 7’2. And here’s a shocking fact: his grandmother on his father’s side is 6’9. It runs in the family, we guess.
In the 2014-15 season, Satnam averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in under 20 minutes for IMG. Now that is a prodigy in the making.
His father had dreams of playing the sport too but could not due to family problems. “My father wanted to play basketball, but my grandfather insisted he could not. They were a family of farmers. He had fields to tend,” Satnam said. “He never got the chance that I am getting now.”
Although Canadian-born Sim Bhullar became the NBA’s first player of Indian descent, Singh would be the first player actually born here to make the league. “I feel good because in India there are a lot of Indian players who could have a chance to come here and play in college and high schools. I think I can open the door for everyone to come here and play.” He told sbnation.com –
Satnam idolises Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant and also admires India’s Jagdeep Singh Bains. The fellow has his role models in place.
For those of you who want to enjoy a good read, here is romantic re-telling of Singh’s childhood and journey so far.