India's first ever NBA player Satnam Singh fails to put an end to father's struggles
D-League players only earn a bare minimum stipend and Satnam has been playing for D-League side Texas Legends.
Satnam Singh Bhamara created history when he became the first player from India to be drafted in the NBA when he was taken by 52nd pick by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2015 draft. His family, who reside in a small village called Ballo Ke in Haryana, had finally started feeling that their financial struggle would be over. However, that has not been the case.
When Satnam was drafted in by the Mavericks, it was a fanatical moment for the entire sporting fraternity of the country. The 21-year-old basketball prodigy, himself, was very optimistic about his career in the States and thought that by joining the cash-rich NBA, he would be able to help his family out financially.
Balbir Singh Bhamara, Satnam’s father, has to go to the wheat field to make ends meet as early as four in the morning every day. Satnam had promised to his father before going to the States that it was the end of all hardships of the family. But the youngster has not been able to send in any money to his family.
As reported in One India, Balbir said, "Satnam has not been able to send even a penny to the family in the last one year. I still get up at 4 in the morning every day and go for working in the wheat field. Even I have not been able to change the brick house in last year."
The reason behind this is, Satnam, himself is not earning enough money. It’s true that NBA’s top league usually pay a lot of money. However, Satnam is currently trudging it out in the D-League with Texas Legends. It is a common move in NBA for younger players to play for the lower league clubs in order to gain experience and maturity.
In the last one year, Satnam has featured in only 16 matches. This season, he has played only 5 games. Overall he has spent only 34 minutes on the court. And the D-League does not pay as much as the top league. Players only earn a bare minimum stipend.
As Balbir further said, "Playing in the D-league does not help any player to earn a lot. D-league clubs only pay a stipend to the players. Naturally, it has not been possible for Satnam also to send money to us. But, Legends coach is happy with Satnam’s progress. And I am waiting whether he gets a promotion to B-league in the next season. Playing in the B-League helps a player to earn a noticeable amount of money."
While Satnam’s family remain hopeful, their own life is engulfed in a daily struggle to make ends meet.