By Swetha Kannan:
Born on December 2, 1992, standing tall and strong with a height of 7’5”, Sim Bhullar is on his way towards pursuing his career as a promising Basketball player. Sim comes from an Indian family who had moved to Canada from Punjab at his early age. All the members of his family are above 6 feet. His brother Tanveer is 7’3” is also a basketball player. Sim’s height and swiftness made him take interest in basketball and he has been proving his talent since then. At New Mexico State University, where he completed his college, Sim led the NMSU team and won the title at the Western Athletic Conference for two consecutive times and also won the Most Valuable Player of the season award both the times.
Sim draws inspiration from Vince Carter (Olympic gold medalist and still playing for NBA) of Toronto Raptors and Kings DeMarcus Cousins and got motivated to aim for the standards of NBA. Bhullar, with his skills, impressed Vivek Ranadive, the owner of Sacramento Kings, a professional Basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. Sim was admired for his basketball IQ, something that Ranadive believed cannot be taught and his soft hands that gave him a strategic advantage in his chosen sport. Sim had started his training with the kings already and a lot of hope has been pinned up on him. Vivek assures that Sim has been doing his best to live up to the expectations of everyone.
Basketball, like other sports excluding cricket, has taken the back seat when it comes to India. NBA is counted among the most expensive leagues in the world and Basketball is an international sport that is as much exciting as any other sport. Sadly, when India hosted the Commonwealth games in 2010, Basketball had been cancelled. There are numerous young players in our country whose dreams will not materialise unless our nation takes a step towards encouraging other global sports such as Basketball.
One of the notable contributors to have aided in building the NBA brand in our country is Yannick Colaco, MD, NBA India. His team runs the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA which has encouraged almost 140,000 children from 220 schools in taking interest in Basketball in the cities of Mumbai and Kerala. Ranadive and Yannick share a common interest when it comes to popularising Basketball in our country.
Ranadive in an interview with Sacramento Bee had mentioned about his vision of making Basketball a household word in India. Twitter statistics show half a million fans following from India for NBA. Efforts are being taken to expand the fan base. For all good reasons, let us hope that this wonderful sport would go on to become a favourite sport among Indians and thus inspire the young generation of players to drive India to be on par with International Sports teams.