Basketball player Satnam Singh Bhamara, who has become the first Indian to be picked for the NBA developmental league, aspires to be a role model for the generations to come by breaking into the North American league.
“I want to become an NBA player who plays a key part in his team’s success, someone who matters. I want to win an NBA championship and hopefully become a star player. I want to leave a legacy behind so that aspiring kids can look up to me as a role model and follow my footsteps,” the 21-year-old said.
“Furthermore, having gained enough experience, I would like to give back to society. I would want to come back to India and share my experience, knowledge and train the talent in India. I am glad to have found the right people to guide me to NBA at such a young age. I would want to keep this legacy going.”
The Punjab-born player also said when he started playing the sport initially, he disliked it.
“To be honest, initially for four months, I didn’t like basketball at all. However, watching great players and their performances developed a fascination in me.
“I was ecstatic when I qualified for the nationals and played quite well, which further motivated me to look at the sport passionately. Later I went on to represent India and that was an absolute landmark for me.
“I continued to receive more and more opportunities and now basketball has become my life. I am thankful to my coaches in India and the US who have inspired me immensely.
“They have introduced me to a sport that I was completely clueless about and sharpened my skills to make a good sportsman out of an ordinary young boy,” said Bhamara, who represents Texas Legends in the NBA.
Bhamara also admitted that initially he faced difficulties as he did not know the language, but later on when he was able to communicate in English, things became easy for him.
In addition, he said that it did not matter how long or short his NBA career was, because he believed it would inspire more and more aspirants to take the sport seriously.
“I would like them to know that the game is not just about height or physique. Height can certainly be a fair advantage, but mind, focus and kick are what matters the most in this game.
“So if you are a skilled player and my NBA career can motivate you to pursue your basketball dreams seriously, I will be honoured,” he said when quizzed whether his participation in NBA will encourage Indian players.