In­dia news­pa­pers look to bas­ket­ball with the sud­den rise of Bhamara

The China Post - - SPORTS -

It is a rare day in In­dia when bas­ket­ball makes the front page of news­pa­pers, yet Sat­nam Singh Bhamara achieved that feat when he be­came the first In­dian to be drafted to the NBA this week. The 2.15-me­ter 19-year-old was se­lected by the Dal­las Mav­er­icks and lo­cal media cel­e­brated. “Sat­nam Takes Gi­ant Leap” read a head­line in The Times of In­dia Satur­day while the Hin­dus­tan Times car­ried a pic­ture with the head­line “Go­ing Big.”

The In­dian Ex­press head­line was “Hoop dreams: from Lud­hi­ana to Dal­las via NBA” as a cor­re­spon­dent re­ported from Bhamara’s vil­lage of Ballo Ke near the north­ern city of Lud­hi­ana.

Tele­vi­sion also fea­tured in­ter­views with his coach and fam­ily mem­bers who cel­e­brated the achieve­ment.

“There was no real vibe, there were no hints that one team was more in­ter­ested in me than the other,” Bhamara said in a state­ment af­ter his se­lec­tion.

Na­tional coach S. Baskar said Bhamara’s se­lec­tion could be a game-changer for bas­ket­ball in In­dia.

“We are all happy for Sat­nam and it’s a big day for the In­dian bas­ket­ball fra­ter­nity,” Baskar was quoted as say­ing by The Times of In­dia. “It’s al­ways good to play for a for­eign club. They are more pro­fes­sional and the leagues are con­ducted in a more or­ga­nized way.”

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