6 things you need to know about Satnam Singh, the first Indian player to be drafted in the NBA
A few months ago, Sacramento Kings created history by signing the first player of Indian origin, Sam Bhullar during the NBA draft.
Today, Dallas Mavericks went a step further by signing Satnam Singh Bhamara, who is the first Indian-born basketball player to be part of an NBA draft.
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) June 26, 2015
On this proud achievement, here are 6 facts you need to know about this 19-year-old basketball prodigy.
1. He’s literally a giant
Weighing in at a massive 290 pounds, Satnam Singh is a 7’2” giant. Height seems to run in his family – Satnam’s maternal grandmother is apparently 6’9” tall.
2. He hails from a tiny village in Punjab
Ballo Ke, which sounds like the title of a Punjabi folk song, is the name of the remote village Satnam Singh hails from. His father Balbir Singh owns a small wheat farm in the village with a population of just over 800. Just to paint you a better picture of how remotely it is located, the nearest paved road is four miles from Satnam’s house. (Source: Sports Illustrated)
3. He could easily have ended up as a farmer
Despite growing up in a village with no basketball courts or cable TV, Satnam’s father admired the game and wanted to become a sportsperson himself. However, his parents never allowed him to play the game and asked him to focus on farming. If it wasn’t for his father’s determination, Satnam would probably have ended up being a farmer as well.
In order to get his son away from family pressure and around people who understood the game, Balbir sent Satnam to the big city, where the latter proved his worth and secured an opportunity to train in the US at the age of 14. (Source: AOL interview, 2010)
4. It’s not just about his size. He’s got sizable talent.
Aside from his enormous size, it’s his natural skill and hard work that has earned him the plaudits. Basketball experts believe that we could well be looking at a legend in making.
Here’s a CNN feature on the player.
This is what coach Kenny Natt, who’s previously trained Satnam, had to say about him in a recent interview with the Indian Express.
“My first most memorable impression of Satnam was obviously his enormous size at 14 years of age. Second, was his warm smile, huge hands, and of course, his bubbly personality and genuine passion for the game. What was also very noticeable was his basic skills set. In the areas of perimeter shooting, touch and inside post moves to left and right-hand, he was above average for such a young and big man with a minimal number of years of formal skills training.”
5. The first from the entire sub-continent
Many Asians like Yao Ming have made a name for themselves in American basketball, but Satnam is the first from the entire Indian sub-continent to be drafted and then selected by an NBA outfit.
6. NBA is still a ‘tall order’ for the big man
If being drafted into the NBA wasn’t challenging itself, proving himself at the highest level and becoming a professional is going to be an even tougher task for Satnam Singh. He may be giant and versatile, but there are still many weaknesses to his game he needs to work on. Fitness will also be key in his future. He has already overcome knee, elbow and nose injuries in his journey so far.
The world was quick to congratulate Satnam on his outstanding achievement.
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) June 26, 2015
Being the 1st ever Indian player to be drafted in the NBA #satnamsingh has created history. And opened the doors of the NBA to India.
— Abhishek Bachchan (@juniorbachchan) June 26, 2015
T 1910 –#satnamsingh first Indian player to be in the NBA .. congratulations !! India goes to NBA .. now time for NBA to come to India ..!!
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) June 26, 2015
— Naveen Jindal (@MPNaveenJindal) June 26, 2015
— Monita Rajpal (@MonitaRajpal) June 26, 2015
— Red FM (@RedFMIndia) June 26, 2015
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 26, 2015
We all wish Satnam Singh the best of luck on his future adventures in the NBA.
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