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Satnam Singh becomes 1st Indian-born basketball player picked in NBA draft

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Making it big in basketball had long been a dearly held dream for Satnam Singh. Making it happen was another matter. Growing up in a remote village in India's Punjab province, he was destined to become a farmer -- like his father and his father's father. But that's the thing about dreams. With hard work -- and, in Singh's case, a ginormous frame -- they sometimes come true. On Thursday, he became the first basketball player from India to be drafted by an NBA team. The Dallas Mavericks selected the 7-foot-2-inch, 19-year-old with the 52nd pick in the draft. He's not expected to make the team right away, but rather will put in time at the Development League level. But his arrival is a big moment for India. For the moment, Singh is little known in his homeland, where cricket is by far the biggest sport and few follow the American National Basketball Association. But success in the United States could change that -- in the same way China's Yao Ming galvanized interest in basketball in his country. That's certainly what the Mavs are counting on. "We certainly created a legend," owner Mark Cuban said. "There's a billion new Mavs fans out there right now." Spotting potential The village of Billoke is a tiny one in the proud state of Punjab, home of turbaned Sikh men and Bhangra music. Singh's father, Balbir Singh, works the flour mills and raises dairy cows, just like many of the men in the village of 3,000. But one thing set Balbir Singh apart: In a land where the average man is 5 feet 4 inches, he towered over others by a full two feet. It's a genetic trait that even Satnam Singh, even at a young age, was exhibiting. An eagle-eyed sports enthusiast recognized the potential in his friend's 9 -year-old son, who was already 5 feet 9 inches by then. "I can make out from his height that he could become a good player," Rajinder Singh told CNN in 2012. "I took him to the ground to practice. Day by day he excelled and touched greater heights." Coming to America Soon after, he arrived in the United States to train at a basketball academy. He was separated from his parents by more than 8,000 miles, connected to them only through Skype. He missed home, he said. And he missed the food. But he had one dream, and knew that if he practiced hard and put his heart into it, it could be his. "I wish to become the greatest player in the world," he told CNN. "I want to uphold the honor of India, the USA and of my coach and make basketball a prominent sport in India." Three years later, he's made the draft -- and made history.

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To basketball fans/pundits on ICF is this guy really good or does NBA want to tap into the Indian market? If it is the latter it isn't that great an achievement. Also hope Satnam, Bhullar get to play for 20-30 minutes each game instead of warming the bench all the time. Anyways the good thing is that many Indian kids will be inspired by this and hopefully 10-15 years down the line we become an Asian powerhouse in this game.

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To basketball fans/pundits on ICF is this guy really good or does NBA want to tap into the Indian market? If it is the latter it isn't that great an achievement. Also hope Satnam' date=' Bhullar get to play for 20-30 minutes each game instead of warming the bench all the time. Anyways the good thing is that many [b']Indian kids will be inspired by this and hopefully 10-15 years down the line we become an Asian powerhouse in this game.
What inspiration? That if you are blessed with 7 feet genetics then NBA is for you :cantstop: BTW I am happy for Satnam but main reason is not his game but his over tall height

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^ Thanks Iliene :love: Next potential is...7.0 footer a much agile Josh SHarma.... atleast his dad is Indian..lolz 72-ZVewOaKk
After giving so much to Indian cricket Sharma's are now heading for NBA :haha:

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I follow the NBA closely and I can tell you that he is strong and has a decent shot, but slow as hell. Long shot to even be a rotation player. My guess is he will never play a single NBA minute. Just too slow and sluggish
:(( Knew that would be the case :wall:
What inspiration? That if you are blessed with 7 feet genetics then NBA is for you :cantstop: BTW I am happy for Satnam but main reason is not his game but his over tall height
Same goes for just about everything. You have to be blessed with good genetics relevant to whatever you do to be among the best at it. The rest is your environment/training/work ethic etc.

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:(( Knew that would be the case :wall: Same goes for just about everything. You have to be blessed with good genetics relevant to whatever you do to be among the best at it. The rest is your environment/training/work ethic etc.
There is difference between good genetics vs abnormal genetics. Forget about knowing have you ever seen a real 7 feet tall in life. I have not ,I think tallest man I have seen was 6 feet 7 or 8 and that too was a white man

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There is difference between good genetics vs abnormal genetics. Forget about knowing have you ever seen a real 7 feet tall in life. I have not ' date='I think tallest man I have seen was 6 feet 7 or 8 and that too was a white man[/quote'] No. But then again, the only time I've seen someone with the coordination, reaction time, timing etc etc of Sehwag is on TV :winky: I know a center has to be tall, it's just a given. Just like a cricketer has to have certain genetic traits, it's just a given. They are both very rare Id say. Ofcourse many play cricket, but each individual's potential is not the same. A 6'5 palyer can never play as a center, it's just a fact. Just like someone lacking whatever a good batsman needs cannot become a test batsman. So it's just the way it is, who's the shortest center playing high level Basketball right now? He can only inspire tall people cause only is possible for them to play anyway. Just like only the most naturally gifted batsmen who work hard or have insane talent like Viru have the ability to play for India in tests.

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