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Sim Bhullar, First Indian-Origin Athlete to be Part of NBA

Updated: 08 July 2014 15:55 IST

Sim Bhullar, 21, a centre from New Mexico State University, has signed a summer contract with the Sacramento Kings, a professional basketball team in the United States.

Sim Bhullar, First Indian-Origin Athlete to be Part of NBA
Sim Bhullar #2 of the New Mexico State Aggies is defended by Xavier Thames #2 and Josh Davis #22 of the San Diego State Aztecs (not in picture) during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 20, 2014 in Spokane, Washington. © AFP

Washington:

Sim Bhullar has become the first player of Indian-origin ever to be part of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Bhullar, 21, a centre from New Mexico State University, has signed a summer contract with the Sacramento Kings, a professional basketball team in the US, The American Bazar reported.

Although he may not end up playing for the Kings when the 2014-2015 season begins later this year, he will be on the roster, and that marks an historic first for Indian American athletes.

Bhullar, 7.2 feet tall, has parents hailing from Punjab.

He proved adept at playing in the paint, averaging 7.8 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, and 10.4 points per game in his two-year career in the New Mexico state. Those numbers may not jump off the page, but they are solid and point towards significant potential in the big leagues.

"Guys my size don't have very long careers and you have to take advantage of it and do the best you can with the time you have to play," Bhullar was quoted as saying in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

"I didn't want to get hurt in another college season and ruin my chances. And I'm not the kind of guy that's doing it just to make money right away, I just want to play at the highest level," he said.

Bhullar's younger brother Tanveer is also playing college basketball at New Mexico State and hopes to join the NBA as well in the next year or two.

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