The seven-foot-two-inch tall basketball player has been training in the United States in the IMG Academy in Florida. After having trained in the US for five years, there are still some that feel he may not have been ready for the NBA.
Satnam made the decision to give his name for the NBA draft after being encouraged to do so by his coaches. In response to those who felt that he was not NBA-ready, he said: “My coaches feel I am NBA-ready and that is why I have made myself available for the draft.”
With his coaches being proved right, Satnam was the 52nd pick overall by the Dallas Mavericks in their 2015 NBA draft.
He has shown his strengths when playing both forward or center, and is also a good defender.
Scot Flemming, the former India basketball coach, commented on Singh’s NBA draft pick: “I am so happy for Satnam and for India. I had a talk with Mavericks president Donnie Nelson when they called Satnam. They plan to bring him to Dallas soon. He will play in their NBA summer league team in July. His performance in the summer league will determine the next step for him.”
While Satnam is not the first player of Indian origin to be picked for the NBA, he is the first Indian-born player to have achieved this honor. Gursimran “Sim” Bhullar has been playing for the Sacramento Kings, and while he has his origins in India, he was born in Canada.
Satnam’s inclusion in the NBA is likely to increase the sport’s popularity in India, possibly opening doors for the next generation of potential professional basketball players.