One among billion: Satnam Bhamara
Ludhiana: Satnam Singh Bhamara, the living legend from ‘BalloKe’, a small rural village in Punjab, made the state and nation tremble with pride alike in the year 2015 as he became the first ever Indian to be drafted in National Basketball association (NBA). Ever since then, Satnam Singh has become an icon who represents dedication, hard work and devotion for millions in India and around the globe. However, what is not seen from the outside is the struggles a 21 year old, 7”2’ tall Satnam had to endure to achieve this incredible feat. A feature-length documentary titled ‘One In A Billion’ by New York Emmy Award recipient Director Roman Gackowski captivatingly depicts the moving story of Satnam Singh Bhamara.
Born in a remote village in Punjab, Satnam was introduced to basketball at a very young age. Surprisingly tall for a 10 year old, with the height of 5 foot 9 inches, Satnam’s Uncle suggested his father to sign him up for basketball in Ludhiana sports academy since his physique was absolutely fit for the sport. That day marked Satnam’s entry into the world of Basketball in a nation which is clearly cricket-centric.
Defying all odds enroute his journey to international fame, Satnam carved his own glorious path with his hard work, grit, determination and humility. From minor difficulties such as finding a shoe of his size to challenges as hard as going to USA without being affluent in English to not getting sports scholarship and contending for the most sought after NBA pick, Satnam Singh’s story inspires in ways more than one.
He was chosen by ‘Dallas Mavericks’ in the 52nd overall pick in the 2015 draft making him the first ever Indian to be drafted in NBA.
Talking about his journey and the documentary Satnam Singh said, “It feels great to have come this far and be an inspiration to the nation and its aspiring talent. When I started playing the game, my father told me that I need to focus on only three things; study, learn basketball and go to U.S.A. I have the responsibility of everything, family, my coaches and above all, the nation. At that point I felt it’s a huge responsibility. But it was also proof for the incredible faith everyone had in me and it motivated me to transform myself into a good player. The documentary ‘One In A Billion’ very well reflects my journey so far. I would like to come back to India and share my knowledge to the amazing talent out there once I have made a mark in the game of basketball.”
21 year old Satnam Singh Bhamara, now plays for the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League in the center position. After having made a mark in the game, he aims to come back to India and share his expertise to the many young basketball aspirants in India.
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