India's first-ever basketball player to be drafted into the NBA, Satnam Singh Bhamara, is set for his debut for former champions Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League later this week. The Mavs play New Orleans on Saturday in the off-season tournament in Las Vegas, and will start training for the same later today. They will play a total of three games in the preliminary round of the competition, including games against Portland and Washington.
What is the NBA Summer League?
NBA Summer League is an off-season competition, which NBA franchises use to try out different variations from their regular line-ups. The big names of the league usually don't feature in this tournament, with almost all teams playing their second-string teams. The 2015 edition of the NBA Summer League will be held in two stages - the preliminary round ends next Tuesday, while the main round of the tournament will tip off a day later in the same venue. The tournament will conclude on 20 July with the championship game.
History beckons Satnam
When Satnam turns out for the Dallas team on Saturday, he will become the first-ever Indian to feature in an NBA franchise. Last month, Satnam was selected as the 52nd pick of the 2015 NBA draft by Dallas Mavericks. The Punjab-born Satnam Singh is also the first player in 10 years to be drafted by a franchise, despite not having played professionally overseas, or in a college or developmental league in the US.
Satnam Singh fact-file
Born in Punjab's Ballo Ke village, Satnam Singh was part of the IMG Academy in Bradenton, USA, where he was sent on full scholarship by IMG-Reliance, the marketing partners of the Basketball Federation of India, in 2010. A year later, he made his debut for the Indian senior national basketball team in the FIBA Asia Championship. In 2013, he once again turned up for India in the continental tournament.