7ft 5 inch Sim Bhullar has become the first Indian origin player to be signed by an NBA franchise. Bhullar’s signing with the Sacramento Kings’ summer league team is the closest a player with Indian genes has got to the NBA, the world’s richest and most popular basketball league. As he tries to impress the scouts this pre-season, it is still a big “IF” whether he will actually be a part of any NBA roster when the 2014-15 season tips off.The reason basketball fans are beginning to go nuts is because this is a watershed moment for the sport in India, akin to a desi footballer getting signed on to play in the English Premier League. That’s how big this is! So as the Bhullar wave spreads across the country, we take this opportunity to present to you 10 things to know about the 21-year-old who is being touted as India’s Yao Ming.
#1 Where is he really from, and what is the extent of his connection to India?
Bhullar’s parents migrated from Punjab to Toronto, Canada in the late 1980s. Bhullar was born and brought up as a full Canadian citizen. He has even represented the Canadian national basketball team at the U-18 (Junior) level. The last time he visited India was in 2011 to pay his respects at the famous Golden Temple, Amritsar, the holy shrine for Sikhs. “I feel like I represent India and Canada equally,” he has been quoted as saying.