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Satnam Singh Just Became the First Indian to Make It to the NBA

2 minute read

He’s only 19 years old, 7 ft. 2 in. tall and weighs 290 lb. He also just became the first-ever basketball player from India to be drafted into the NBA, when the Dallas Mavericks announced Thursday night that they selected him with their 52nd pick. Meet Satnam Singh Bhamara.

Born in a small village in Punjab that has a population of around 700, Singh was noticed while playing at local clubs and moved to the U.S. in 2010 to train at the IMG Academy in Florida.

Given his young age, towering presence and shooting ability (as this video from DraftExpress shows), Singh is a player the Mavs will undoubtedly be looking to develop over the next few years.

He will reportedly suit up for the team’s Development League affiliate, the Texas Legends.

Singh joins Canada’s Sim Bhullar, who became the first player of Indian ethnicity in the NBA when he took to the court for the Sacramento Kings earlier this year, in boosting the increasing popularity of basketball in India. And Mavericks owner Mark Cuban knows it.

“I’m over the moon,” Singh said to Indian news channel NDTV after the draft. “I hope this opens new avenues for many more Indian basketball players in the future.”

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com