“The 52nd pick in the 2015 NBA draft, the Dallas Mavericks select Satnam Singh” – Indian basketball history has officially been made – An Indian NBA Player.
7-foot-2, 19 year old Satnam Singh was indeed drafted into the NBA by the Dallas Mavericks. This makes him the first Indian to be drafted into the NBA in history. Hailing from a small village in Punjab, India, Satnam was destined for the game of basketball. Satnam moved to the USA in 2011 via a scholarship aged 14 where he trained in the prestigious and reputed IMG Academy in Florida. What appears like a fairy tale for most basketball fans was actually years of blood, sweat and tears for the humble giant.
The story however is one few could even dare to dream of. Raised in a farming family in a tiny village, making his way to coaching centres and academies with limited assistance before eventually moving across the globe to chase the same dream is something we can all learn from. When Satnam heard his name in the Barclay’s Centre in Brooklyn, he took a giant leap closer to his goal. You can only imagine the roller coaster of emotions he was going through as he walked to the podium donning a Mavs hat.
“Thank you to everyone for the support and I am so excited to start with the Dallas Mavericks. I finally now have a chance to say thank you to some very important people as without their help I could not be here” he later wrote on his official Facebook page.
So does this 19 year old Indian prodigy now rub shoulders with LeBron James, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan? Absolutely not. This is only the beginning for the teen who has to now prove his ability and climb up the ranks to get NBA game time.
It’s fair to say that he’s not ready for the big league yet. Making it to the Dallas Mavericks’ roster should be his priority. As a center, Satnam has some stiff competition within the Mavericks franchise in the form of Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Greg Smith and Bernard James. Most basketball pundits speculate that he will play in the D-League for the Mavericks’ owned Texas Legends for a year or more before he makes it to the NBA.
Aged just 19, Satnam does have time to prove his potential in American basketball. In the meantime NBA fans, Mavericks fans and Indian hoop-fans should enjoy the ride and keep a tab on the progress of the humble giant now plying his trade in the USA.