In a country where when it comes to sports, only Cricket is considered to be a notch higher than any religion, a 7-foot-2-inch legend, Satnam Singh Bhamara chose to make a killing in one of the finest sports worldwide, Basketball. The first Indian-born basketball player made history when he was selected as the 52nd player drafted in NBA by the Dallas Mavericks in 2015.
Here's all you need to know about the awe-inspiring man and the story behind his relentless journey.
A boy who was already 5'7" when he was nine years old had a loving father who always wanted his son to step into his unworn shoes and have a name in sports but not just any sport. Satnam's father wanted him to become a basketball player.
"My father wanted to play basketball, but my grandfather insisted he could not. They were a family of farmers. He had fields to tend. He never got the chance that I'm getting now. He is very proud of me, and I want to play this game as well as I can play. That is my task now," said Satnam.
Satnam grew up in a place where there were no basketball courts, and it was not until he was 10 when he started playing basketball, but once he started, there was no looking back ever again. Because of minimal facilities in the village back then, his father was persuaded by a friend to send Satnam to Ludhiana and learn how to play better. At first, he thought he was being sent to play Volleyball but turned out his fate with basketball was synced pretty well.
He always took care of the fact that nothing comes between his son and his newly found passion ever since he started playing.
"My father told me to live my dream and make something out of myself. The more I played the more I was convinced that I was really good at the game," said Satnam.
His passion for the game grew with time and at the age of 14, he was selected for a fully paid scholarship in IMG Florida in the year 2010 along with eight others. That's where he's spent the last five years of his life.
Satnam said, "I struggled the most with language in the beginning as it was hard for me even to communicate with the coaches who were training me. So I focused on my playing and learning English during my stay there."
And ever since his life has had something better and bigger to offer.
Who says hard work doesn't pay off well?
Satnam has been one hell of an inspiration to all the basketball players around the globe, especially to Indians. A 21-year-old boy full of determination and zeal playing in the best basketball league is living a dream for a lot of people out there. He also played for Dallas in the NBA Summer League in 2015.
On a phone interview with USA Today Sports, Satnam said, "That's my goal. I work every single day. Non-stop."
"I owe my success to my first coach Subramanian who was the best coach in my opinion. He had a library full of books on basketball tactics and coaching which he devoured to teach us the best he could." He added, "He was self-taught, and his knowledge of techniques was extensive."
It was a momentous day in the history of India when Satnam was drafted for NBA as the 52nd player by Dallas Mavericks.
Satnam said, "Big history for India because I'm the first Indian-born player to play in the NBA."
The life that Satnam carved from the time he started playing basketball in his village to being the first Indian-born basketball player drafted in NBA at such a young age has been encouraging to the extent that words aren't suffice to justify, and that's why OBB Pictures have made a documentary film based on it.
Get set with a tub of popcorn to binge watch this amazeballs documentary called 'One in a Billion'.
The CEO/President of OBB Pictures, Michael D. Ratner said, "We documented Satnam's astounding journey over the past few years as he attempted to change the face of basketball in India forever. He is not just an icon for his countrymen but also an icon for the rest of the globe." He added, "Satnam is playing an important in both expanding the popularity of basketball in one of the world's most rapidly emerging markets and furthering the sport's global appeal."
Satnam has been planning to take his family along with him to the United States and continue with what he's best at till he retires.
"No one in my family has ever been on a plane. I want to show them a new country and how different life can be outside our little village. When I have achieved enough I will come back to India and coach children like me. I want to see basketball earn the same place that cricket has in this country in the near future."
Satnam has been such a great influence on our entire generation and has triggered a fire in every Indian basketball player to level up and prepare themselves to target for NBA.
Though still a long way to go, it's absolutely commendable what Satnam Singh has done for himself. He's getting all set to steal the show at the best basketball league in the world, and we just can't hold our horses for that glorious day!
Watch 'One in a Billion' today to know Satnam's journey from Ballo Ke to NBA, exclusively on Netflix!
Click here to watch.