ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): When Satnam Singh Bhamara caught the attention during the 2nd FIBA Asia U16 Championship at Nha Trang City (Vietnam) last year the question that buzzed in FIBA Asia circles was: “Is this giant the only way to fast track India’s development in basketball?”
The question did seem appropriate and more importantly an answer in the affirmative sounded a reality then. But less than a year later, the discerning in the basketball circles in the basketball are faced with the exciting prospect of another tall – and arguably more athletic and agile – youngster coming up on the Indian answer.
The youngster responds to the name Palpreet Singh Brar.
This youngster, who hails from a village that would send many an Indophilic quiz expert into a SEO quest, stands tall at 203 cm weighing almost 100 kgs and most importantly moves around the court with feline fearlessness and ferocity.
Agreed he has not been tested against the best in the business in his age group yet, but the potential is certainly encouraging, even if not all that exciting.
“My aim is to become a professional player,” the lad from Doda village in Muktsar district in Punjab began his conversation with this correspondent.
“I really don’t know what to answer if you ask me where and how, but I surely want to become a professional player in my life,” he said.
“It’s only two years since I picked the ball. And I think I have shown improvement. Else I wouldn’t have been here,” he says with boyish pride.
“I have just been following what the coaches have taught me all my life,” he added.
“It’s quite exciting to be playing in this competition. I am happy I am able to do well in my very first competition,” he went on.
“Well, there are a lot of things I need to learn. I know this. I also know that I need to continuously work hard till I reach my goal.
“I think I need to pick a lot of skills and deception in my shooting my offense,” he said.
Mention Satnam Singh’s name and pat comes the reply: “I think we both we can really work well together.”
The latest find in the long list of Dr Subramanian ‘Singh’ of Ludhiana Academy is certainly a very strong prospect for the future. How well he is nurtured and allowed to grow will be the key to answering India’s move up in FIBA Asia competition rankings!
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia
Photo: Milad Payami / FIBA Asia