Can Sim Bhullar do what many in the Indian Basketball community have only dream of?

Basketball may not be amongst the popular sports in India but nonetheless there is undeniably a section of our population which deeply enjoys this beautiful game. One reason for lack interest is that no Indian team or player has been able to perform well at international level to garner attention towards it. But soon that reality might be changed by Sim Bhullar, an Indo-Canadian player who was recently signed by the NBA team the Sacramento Kings to their summer league roster on 27th June 2014.

NBA is a stage for the best of the best in the world to display their talents. Not much popular in India, it is a US based league which relishes even much more popularity than the international matches due to the dominance of the US players over the game. It has been a long standing dream of basketball enthusiasts in India to see an Indian break into the league and make headway for the rest of the community of players by inspiring them. Probably doing what Yao Ming did for the game in China. He can act as an ambassador to the NBA in South Asia, especially when the league is looking to expand its operations in the densely populated region.

Bhullar is native of Toronto, Canada who was born to a migrated Indian father, Avtar who hails from Punjab in India. The 7 feet 5 inches player after impressing many at the high school level finally chose to play for New Mexico State Aggies at the University level. He averaged 10.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game in his sophomore year for the Aggies, and declared himself for the 2014 NBA Draft after his sophomore season.

Bhullar remained undrafted initially, crushing many hopes back home, however on the morning of 27th June 2014 he was invited by the Sacramento Kings. The summer league contract doesn’t guarantee a berth in the NBA roster of the club, however it is definitely an encouraging sign. The summer league is the period before the commencement of the season when teams try out new recruits and different permutations and combinations. Playing on floor for now maybe a far-away dream but Bhullar could definitely land himself in the NBA Development league which is a lower level edition for clubs to improve their extras for the main roster. If cleared to play, he could also be the tallest player in the NBA.  Interestingly, the club is currently owned by an Indian business man Vivek Ranadive.

His story could well inspire many by showcasing that the idea of playing in the NBA is accessible if one has the will. It will also definitely generate interest in the sports for many sports enthusiast in the country and probably the government too will pay larger attention to it. Bhullar younger brother 7 feet 2 inches tall younger brother is another young promising prospect for the nation to pin their hopes on. It will be encouraging to see more and more young kids trying to replicate the feat and hopefully in some 10-15 years we can see the Indian team also compete at the Olympics or the FIBA world basketball championship.

Harsh Vardhan Yadav

A journalism student who loves to travel, debate and play.

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