Satnam Singh Bhamara’s inclusion in the NBA could lead to a deeper Indian imprint on global basketball, writes Sharda Ugra for Livemint
“Until the day before yesterday, Indian basketball did not exist. Okay, I’ll correct that. Over the last year there were only a few signs: when India beat China, when the turban ban happened and when Sim Bhullar signed for Sacramento Kings. Now, today, Indian basketball can create something from zero. There can be an explosion from zero to infinity.”
Before Indian basketball nuts—and there are a sizeable number of them—begin grumbling “what the hell yaar”, let’s quickly say the words above are not directed at them. It is not as if their history and legend is being erased, but I know where Gopalakrishnan R. is coming from. He speaks not to his brethren and sporting soulmates, but to the rest of us, the world outside Indian basketball. Gopalakrishnan is one of a five-man core team that runs Ekalavyas, the first and so far the only website dedicated to Indian basketball.
The last time he and I spoke was about 11 months ago, when India beat China at the FIBA Asia Cup. The silence in the time that has elapsed since then is a reflection of basketball’s “does not exist” status in our mainstream sports media.