Much has been made of Jeremy Lin’s story. A story that includes Harvard, not being drafted, being cut a few times, and his Asian heritage. What also is often mentioned is the love for basketball that his father shared with him. We have heard similar tales involving Kobe Bryant and his dad. And we hear such tales when it comes to players and their dads, and sometimes even moms, who were their coaches.
Well the theme comes up again with basketball prodigy Satnam Singh Bhamara. While it may end up having a transnational feel like the Jeremy Lin story – Asia to the U.S. and the NBA – Bhamara’s story right now is one of family, loyalty, respect, and ultimately love for the game of basketball. And that is worthy of our attention.
“Balbir’s father was a wheat farmer and miller with a string of glistening black water buffalo that gave milk as sweet as honey. His mother was 6 feet 9 inches, and young Balbir grew to be a little over 7 feet tall — the tallest person in the village.
Everywhere the boy went, people told him he ought to play basketball, a game many of them had heard about but never seen. In the cities, there were schools with proper courts where he could learn the game and, as a bonus, get an education. If he took to the game, as seemed certain, he’d have a chance to see the country, or maybe, just maybe, the world.
Balbir’s father would hear none of it. His son would stay in the village and become a farmer. That was that. The boy obeyed, because that was what a boy did. In due course, he took over the farm and became prosperous. He married. He had three children. He was elected the head of the village.”
This great story continues with Balbir’s son. Yes, his son Satnam. You can learn more about Satnam in the rest of the essay, “Satnam Singh Bhamara: India’s Yao Ming?” from The Week.
For more on Satnam please check out ESPN’s The Next issue and view the video below.