Nearly a month ago, I got an e-mail from Manvinder ‘Manny’ Sahota, born in the village of Arjanwal near Jalandhar in Punjab 18 years ago, but moved to live in Canada in 1999. The youngster blossomed into a basketball phenom, and performed exceptionally for his high school St. Marguerite d’Youville in Brampton.
The 6 foot 6 small forward was named as part of the ’09-10 Toronto Regional High School Basketball Boys All-Star team, averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks for the season. He has professed his dream to one day represent the Indian National team, the Young Cagers. For now, he’s been recruited on a full basketball scholarship to theCornell University in Ithica, New York where he will have a chance to play Division 1 basketball in the NCAA.
Here’s a mixtape of Manny’s highlights from the past season – let’s wish this Arjanwali boy the best for the rest of his career. As I watched this video, I saw how he tore apart every silly stereotype about Indians not being athletically good enough to play basketball at a high level – with the right diet and fitness regime, there is no doubt that more Mannys can be discovered amongst the thousands of keen ballers back home in India.