Satnam Singh talks about his journey from the fields of Punjab to the glitzy NBA courts
Satnam Singh Bhamara is the India’s first National Basketball Association player, Here he shares about his journey from the fields of small town to the glitzy NBA courts, towering above basketball stars.
In India, Cricket is the most popular game and cricketers are treated as demigods, Satnam Singh Bharmara’s selection in the NBA has changed the way people count at a play like basketball.
The 21-year-old’s journey has been seized in a recently released documentary. In an exclusive consultation with us, the athlete talks about his journey from the fields of Punjab to the glitzy world of NBA arena…
From a small town like Balle Ko to playing for Dallas Mavericks, you have come a long way?
Coming from a small town, where farming and leading a simple life was all we knew, NBA is a major transition for me. At the age of 13, someone suggested that enrolling me for basketball would be a great idea. My father had limited knowledge about the sport, but he believed that I was born for bigger things. He sacrificed a great deal for me. When I was watching Dangal, I felt there was an uncanny similarity between Aamir’s character and my father, as he too pushed me to play the game. He would tell me, `Satnam, do not worry about us.Focus on your game. Work hard. Do what you have to, to be the best at your game.’
How challenging was it to fit into the world of the most coveted basketball league in the world?
Hurdles are a part of everyone’s life. Back in India, while I was still learning and getting better at my game, the conditions we played in made it extremely difficult. Something as basic as getting shoes was troublesome because of my shoe size.Many times, I played barefoot and so did the rest of my teammates. When I got here, speaking in English was also one major hurdle. I couldn’t converse with my team members and even my coach. I realised that I would have to learn the language to get better at my game and most importantly , to survive. I can easily say that my struggles have made me more focused towards my goal. It is only because of these obstacles that I have been able to achieve what I have.
I consider Kobe Bryant as my role model. He is a brilliant player and one of the most hardworking and humble people I have come across. He practices even when there is no practice session. Maybe that’s why he is who he is.
What would your reaction be if someone was to make a film on your life in Bollywood?
I wonder if they can find a 7.2 feet tall actor (laughing). I like Bollywood movies, but honestly , I am too young and there’s a long way to go and things to achieve before such an honour is bestowed on me! For now, I would love it if Aamir Khan would see the documentary. I would also love it if Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn or Sachin sir (Tendulkar), who I met recently years, watch it.
What is the next thing you are looking forward to?
It still feels like a dream when I think about it. I just wanted to play my game and be the best at it. Narrating my stories to the kids in the neighborhood made me happy; that was enough for me. It is funny that now I have a documentary based on my life for people to watch. I don’t care much about the fame, still I realise that it made me see just how far I have come. Despite all of this, my goal is clear. I have a lot more to achieve in the future. This is just the beginning.