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Meet Sukhman Bhinder, the Punjabi basketball player from Australia

Sagnik Kundu
1.07K   //    27 Oct 2016, 19:35 IST
Bhinder is a versatile point guard

A Sikh basketball player from Australia with roots in Punjab became one of the best true point basketball players in the Class of 2015 in Australia. Unbelievable, right?

How about a guy in a turban who has just signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University and play basketball for the Maryville Saints? You must be kidding!

Both the statements I just made are true, believe it or not. This guy goes by the name of Sukhman Bhinder. The 6-foot-1 was born in Sydney and spent most of his life there. However, his roots can be traced back to Punjab, India, coming from the Sikh community.

He played for the AUSA Hoops, the training academy based outside Australia that provides exposure to Australian youngsters, in the summer of 2014. The class of 2015 point guard made a name for himself in the AAU circuit in the Midwest.

If his performances are anything to go by, the Sikh baller is indeed a special talent. Bhinder's versatility is his biggest attribute and has impressed one and sundry with Basketball IQ. A real threat to the opposition when on song, the teenager can take anyone by surprise with his quick first step and sudden accelerations. His ability to break down opposition defences has also been lauded many times and also makes plays for his teammates.

Staying true to his Sikh heritage, Bhinder represents his community on court standing out every time and has been branded as the 'Turbunator' by his teammates. He turned heads by clicking all the right boxes at the Elite Academic Showcase. Playing with a chip on his shoulder, he was a brutal force while going up the court whilst also starring as a defender. Bhinder has an in-born killer instinct but keeps his feet o the ground, characteristics that cannot be taught,

Bhinder, who has a big frame is known to play a physical game. A natural shooter, he also has the ability to score on the drive as well. Being a naturally strong athlete, he does not really need to be a gym rat but this kid loves working out at the gym. Every day, he can be seen sweating it out at the gym as he prepares to fight out the big opposition defenders.

Australia, unlike other nations, ensures that the kids who take to the hardwood are preached about fundamentals from a young age and one would rarely find an overly flashy player Down Under. His skill-set suggests that although he performs commendably playing as a point guard, he also has the potential to score a lot of points.

The control and sense that are evident in Bhinder's style of play, one can suggest that his game is polished. Maryville University men's basketball head coach Kevin Carroll did not waste any time and went on to announce that Bhinder had signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University and play basketball for the Saints. Carroll further added that the Sydney boy will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2016-17 academic year.

Speaking about him Carroll had said, "We are extremely fortunate and excited to be adding Sukhman to our Maryville family," Carroll said. "We feel that he is someone who can impact the game on both ends of the floor with his combination of athleticism, skill and feel for the game. More importantly, he plays with a passion for the game that is contagious and will have an immediate impact on our program."

Bhinder has gained experience over the years  in the Australian circuit being a member of the uner-16, under-18 and under-20 New South Wales state teams in the Australian National Tournament. He was a student of the Knox Grammar School amassing 16 ppg, 7 apg, and 6 rpg in his senior year in 2014.

He was awarded Outstanding Individual Sportsman Award,which goes by the name the MJ Punch Award, by the Association of Independent Schools of NSW in 2014 for his performances as the captain of the Australian School Boys Team, which is the national school team all-stars. Bhinder was the first signing for the 2016-17 recruiting class for Maryville University.

Carroll spoke about how Bhinder has got a basic training of the highest quality from the likes of Rhys Murphy. He said, "Sukhman gained valuable experience competing at the highest level of the Australian youth system, competing in several Australian national tournaments with the New South Wales state team. Furthermore, he has received excellent training from Rhys Murphy and the AUSA Hoops program, one of the most respected basketball organizations in Australia. Those experiences will make his transition to Maryville and the GLVC a seamless one. We are expecting big things from Sukhman during his career in a Saints uniform."

Here’s hoping that the young baller, who has roots in India, shines brightly in the basketball world.

Sagnik Kundu
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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