“I wish to become the greatest player in the world. I want to uphold the honor of India, the USA and of my coach and make Basketball a prominent sport in India”
Hailing from a country where Cricket is the most admired and followed sport, Satnam Singh Bhamara has become the first Indian born Basketball player to be picked in NBA draft.
Born and brought up in a remote tiny village of India’s Northern state of Punjab, Bhamara has been selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 52nd pick in the draft.
The 7-foot-2inch 19 year old is not expected to make the team right away, but rather will put in time at the Development League Level.
Bhamara has been training in the US for five years after being chosen to attend an IMG basketball academy in Florida.
India has qualified for the FIBA Asian Championships to be played in Wuhan (China( from September 3 but Bhamara stated that he won’t be available for national duty for at least next two years as his primary focus is to improve his game and make it to the first team of the NBA side Dallas Mavericks.
“I won’t be playing for India for the next two years. My focus is solely on NBA. I have to improve my game and then get into the first team. May be after another two years when I establish myself, I will again play for India. The main goal is to at least play 10 years in NBA league.”
Bhamara iterated that he did not feel any pressure nor was he nervous,
“The only thing I was telling myself was I have come here as first Indian but it was the time for reality check. My assessments is that in terms of power, I am as good as the Americans. Where I am lacking is balance. The coaches are working on that aspect. I have a weak knee. I am doing strengthening exercises.”
Bhamara revealed that his idol is Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets centre) as “I want to play like him.”
Adding further, Bhamara said that his first team coach from Mavericks Rick Carlisle advised him “to always be in a lookout to move the ball forward. Pass and move is the main advice. If there is no one around to pass, then try to shoot.” PLEASE FIX
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the pre-eminent men’s professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.
It has franchised member clubs (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB) which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues. NBA players are the world’s best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player.
National coach S. Baskar said Bhamara’s selection could be a game-changer for basketball in India.
He added, “We are happy for Satnam and it’s a big day for the Indian basketball fraternity. It’s always good to play for a foreign club. They are more professional and the leagues are conducted in a more organized way.”
Sachin Tendulkar tweeted,
“I am very happy for him. I would like to wish him all the best for the coming season and his career. I am sure the entire nation will support him.”
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on Twitter,
“First Indian player to be in the NBA… congratulations!! India goes to NBA… now time for NBA to come to India!!”