Hoopster Satnam Singh Bhamara has created history by becoming the first Indian to get drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The 7 feet two inches tall, 131-kg Indian was picked by Dallas Mavericks. The 19-year-old Satnam earlier took part in training sessions with top teams like Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics. He was the second round, 52nd pick in the NBA draft and among 60 men who will play basketball in the next season.
Satnam, who hails from a remote village in Punjab moved to the United States in September 2010 as part of a scholarship programme between IMG Academy and Reliance.
During the 2014-15 season, he averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in less than 20 minutes per game for IMG. For the last five years Satnam has been training in Florida with youths of various countries on an initiative of IMG Reliance Academy. The 19-year-old did not receive any scholarships to play for any American college.
Satnam also marks the first time since the 2005 NBA draft that a player has entered the draft without playing in college, overseas, professionally, or in the NBA Development League as well.
He then got drafted by the Mavericks, which currently makes him the first player to be drafted directly from high school and the first since the league instituted age restrictions on players that someone from high school would be selected in the draft.
He is nicknamed ‘Chhotu’, which means little one.
Since the inaugural 1980-81 season, the Mavericks have won three division titles (1987, 2007, 2010), two conference championships (2006, 2011) and one NBA championship (2011).
Before Bhamara, Toronto-born Gursimran ‘Sim’ Bhullar became the first player of Indian origin to play in the NBA when he turned out for the Sacramento Kings in three games in April.(IANS)