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Satnam Singh Bhamara believes hard work and focus and not height or weight are critical to become a good basketball player

792   //    17 Aug 2015, 13:17 IST
Satnam Singh Bhamara with a group of youngsters in Jaipur recently

If you are an aspiring basketball player but feel that you aren't tall enough to play the game seriously, well worry not. For if Satnam Singh Bhamara, the first ever Indian to be drafted into the NBA is to be believed, then neither height nor weight, but hard work and focus are the vital ingredients if one is to reach to the top.

“Height, built, weight all this does not matter. I have seen short players in America playing good basketball and making an impact. It’s just about, talent, hard work and focus,” Satnam told PTI in an interview.

“If one Satnam Singh can go and play NBA there, why can’t more players can go and play there. They can talk to the coaches there and I am sure if they see the talent they will be willing to help them out. And slowly and slowly basketball will gain ground in India and give cricket competition,” he added.

When asked about what India need to do in order to produce more Satnam Singhs, he said that the budding players require help from all quarters and work needs to be put in to provide them with the best of facilities and stressed on the need to inject money into the sport.

“They (budding players) need help from all quarters. They need good coaches to train them, good food for nutrition. They need help from the government. In America, there are so many good players who get money and they succeed. If the players do not get money, it will be difficult for them to achieve success,” he said.

“Everything, from infrastructure to lack of facilities and good coaches. We have talent, but it goes waste without all these things. If talent is honed properly then India can also boast of good players,” he added.

Satnam was also gracious enough to thank everybody who played a vital part in him getting drafted into the NBA and added that he looked to become a successful player in the league in a couple of years time.

“I thank all my coaches and teachers from the time I started playing the game in Punjab. First of all to Harish Sharma who gave me the biggest opportunity to come to US to begin the journey. Then to IMG Reliance for the scholarship which allowed me to attend the IMG Academy. To late Dr Subramaniam who saw something in me and started coaching me when I was 8 years old. To Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal and Mr RS Gill for always helping me, coaching me and taking care of me.

“At the moment there are no plans to open an academy here, I am just focused on my game at the time. My prime focus at the moment is to develop my game and get a firm footing in NBA. I see myself as a successful player two three years down the line. Playing well in the NBA and getting to the top of my game,” he concluded.

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