The Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh; Journey From a Small Village of Punjab to the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men’s professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world’s best-paid athletes by average annual salary per player. You will come to know about a Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh here.

See Also: 101-Year-Old Athlete from Punjab.

Satnam Singh the Punjabi NBA Player

The journey of Punjabi NBA player Satnam Singh from a small village of Punjab to NBA (National Basketball Association).

Early life of Satnam Singh

Satnam was born on December 10, 1995, in Ballo Ke, a village located in the Barnala district of Punjab, India  Both Singh’s father, Balbir, and his paternal grandfather were wheat farmers and millers, and the family’s house was located four miles from the closest paved road. In the mid-1980s, while in his childhood, Singh’s father became the tallest person in his village and his tremendous height caused the general public to advise him to start playing basketball in cities that had the proper facilities. He married and had three children, the middle child being Satnam.

At 9 years old

Singh was taller than the majority of adults in his village. His father took him to a local basketball court at around this time, despite having a meager understanding of the game. This was the time when Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh was getting ready. Satnam was under the impression that he was being taken to play volleyball, and he struggled to play. Nevertheless, Singh continued to play using a hoop his father mounted in a dirt courtyard near his house. After drawing interest from villagers, who would occasionally come to watch him, he earned the nickname “Chhotu” among the villagers in his hometown, which meant “little one” in his native tongue, as his rapid growth made the basketball seem to shrink in his hands over time. Singh’s interest in the game prompted his father to search for players and coaches in the Punjab region. Singh participated in youth leagues in Punjab and quickly began to dominate his opponents.

At age 10

His father was urged to enroll him in the Ludhiana Basketball Academy (LBA) in the large Punjabi city of Ludhiana, a school designed to develop talent in 14- to 18-year-olds from Punjab and its neighboring states. Talwinderjit Singh was one of the many future members of the junior and senior Indian national basketball teams that the academy had experience working with. Singh was taught some of his first basketball skills and drills by former Punjab basketball coach and Sports Authority of India director Dr. Sankaran Subramanian.

At 13 years old

Singh was 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) tall, 230 lb (104 kg), and wore size-18 shoes. As he began getting more exposure to professional basketball and the National Basketball Association (NBA), he began to idolize stars such as Kobe Bryant and would try to model his game after Yao Ming and Dwight Howard. Outside of the league, he looked up to Ludhiana alum, Jagdeep Singh Bains. Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh interests were now changing towards correct directions.

See Also: Indian Swimmers the unsung heroes of Indian Sports

High school career of Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh.

In early 2010, the global sports marketing business IMG was partnering with Reliance Industries, the largest corporation in India, to form a new company known as IMG Reliance (IMGR). They formed a new sports and entertainment marketing company and made their first move by signing a 30-year contract with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI). The mindset to improve the facilities and leagues in the country and they started allowing athletes to attend the Bradenton-based IMG Academy on a full scholarship. The academy had previously produced players like Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Joakim Noah, and Chauncey Billups.

This Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh led the Punjab state youth team to a national championship in June 2010, leading the BFI to choose him to play at an NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in Singapore. The BFI’s head coach, Harish Sharma, had him play against members of the Indian national team, and he managed to compete with them. Sharma recommended Singh for IMGR to consider him for a scholarship,

at 14 years of age

Sharma pointed, “This boy, you will want to see. I’ve told people many times, he can become India’s, Yao Ming.”Troy Justice, who directed basketball operations for the NBA in India, also visited Punjab and discovered Singh at the NBA Mahindra Challenge.He said, “First time I saw him play, he was wearing shoes that were falling apart. The seams had split, and he was coming right out of them. That’s all he had. He was growing so fast. We helped him get shoes. I’ve heard people talk, but we’re not sure they know how big he’ll get.” Justice had confidence in him, however, saying, “He can be the chosen one for basketball in India.”

at the age of 15

This Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh was awarded a scholarship under the IMGR basketball training academy and shifted to Bradenton, Florida in September 2010. Despite knowing no English at the time, he was one of 29 student-athletes—male and female combined—to be selected to train at IMG Academy. During the 2014–15 season, he averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in less than 20 minutes per game for IMG, the No. 2 ranked team in the country. However, due to his limited English skills, Singh lacked the grades necessary to receive any scholarships to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

See Also: Everything You Should know about Ranji Trophy.

Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh

at the age of 20

After being declared ineligible for academic scholarships to play in the NCAA, Satnam Singh declared for the 2015 NBA draft, going on to be selected with the 52nd pick by the Dallas Mavericks on June 25, 2015.Singh became the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA, the first player since the 2005 NBA draft to enter the draft without playing in college, overseas professionally, or in the NBA Development League; the first player to be drafted directly from high school as a postgraduate, and the first player from high school to be drafted since the league instituted age restrictions.Singh joined the Mavericks for the 2015 NBA Summer League. On October 31, 2015, he was acquired by the Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate of the Mavericks.On November 13, 2015, he made his professional debut in a 104–82 loss to the Austin Spurs, recording four points, three rebounds and one assist in nine minutes.

at the age of 21

Punjabi NBA Player Satnam Singh had a season-best game with six points and six rebounds in 22 minutes of action as a starter in a 136–80 loss to Raptors 905.he had a season-best game with six points and six rebounds in 22 minutes of action as a starter in a 136–80 loss to Raptors 905. He appeared in 9 games (two starts) for the Legends in 2015–16, averaging 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game.On October 30, 2016, Singh was reacquired by the Texas Legends.

That’s it for this article, do share with your friends and for more such infotainment do connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram & YouTube.


Avinash is the co-founder and a writer on Careers & LifeStyle on this website i.e He is a graduate in Mass Communication and is a tech addict. You will generally find him with his laptop or tablet or smartphone.

Leave a Reply