Not easy getting into NBA: Satnam Singh

Tallahassee (Florida), June 25 (IANS) A day before the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft arrives to confirm or leave out India’s talented player Satnam Singh, the 19-year-old said it was not easy getting into the tournament.

The man, who hails from a remote village in Punjab stands 7 feet 2 inches tall, is hoping to become the first player born on the subcontinent to make the league.

Canadian-born Sim Bhullar became the NBA’s first player of Indian descent to play in the league last year.

“A lot of people are texting me every day, ‘When are you going to the NBA?’ And I say, ‘It’s not easy.’ You work hard, then you go play in the NBA. It’s not easy for anyone,” Satnam was quoted as saying by news.com.au on Thursday.

Satnam also spoke about how Indians are taking to the sport in the country stating it has developed over the last few years.

“India is a lot better now, A lot of NBA coaches are over there training in Bombay, Delhi and Punjab – my state – too. It’s gotten a lot better in the last two years, three years. It’s (very) popular over there,” he said.

When he was 12, Satnam was sent to a government-funded basketball academy and in after two years he moved to Florida where has spent the last five years developing his game.

At 19, Singh is still considered too raw to play in the NBA but could be drafted by a team and moved overseas to develop in another professional league.

One of the teams to have had a look into Satnam was Boston Celtics who have won the NBA a record 17 times.

Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said he was, “the international man of mystery”.

“It’s my first time seeing him,” Ainge said last month.

“He’s humungous. He’s really, really big. And a very nice kid. He’s got an interesting story.”

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