Sacramento Kings center Sim Bhullar made NBA history on Tuesday night as he became the first player of Indian descent to play in the league.
Bhullar’s parents are both from the Punjab region, but their son was born and raised in Canada after the family relocated. The 7’5″ Bhullar played in college at New Mexico State, but after developing his game and working on his fitness over the past few months in the D-League, he was rewarded with a 10-day contract by Sacramento.
Although he was only given the last 16 seconds of the game, the Kings fans gave him a standing ovation as he took to the court. It was a poignant moment, with Bhullar clearly soaking up the atmosphere and reception in his first taste of life in the NBA.
Kings colleague Omri Casspi later revealed that he shared some words of wisdom with the towering center, after he became the first Israeli-born player to play in the NBA.
“I told him to enjoy the ride,” Casspi told ESPN.
“You got 2 billion Indians looking up to you. Be the best role model you can be and have fun with it.”
Bhullar will hope to earn himself an extension this summer and become a permanent part of the roster in the years to come.