November 10, 2010
Size, in and of itself, is no guarantee when it comes to trying to predict NBA stardom. Or even a chance at an NBA roster.
Through the years, we've seen countless 7-footers from several countries fall short, so to speak, time and time again when it comes to trying to hold their own at the NBA level. The Americans clearly lead the league in failing at this aspect, but a dozen other countries have flubbed as well.
One country that hasn't taken to the ring, or the court, yet? India. And though this massive nation hasn't had a player play or even be drafted by an NBA team, it's not easy to see why Satnam Singh Bhamara might not be the exception to the rule. After all, the 7-footer has scouts drooling over his skills.
He's only 14.
But he's also 7-feet tall.
Once again, if you missed that: 7-feet tall, and 14 years of age.
"Satnam is on track to be a very, very good long-term basketball player,'' said Dan Barto, director of player development at IMG Basketball Academy, who recently returned from India where he conducted several coaching clinics. "His biggest weakness now is our biggest strength here when it comes to developing players -- neuromuscular firing -- overall body control. His potential is pretty amazing.''
That potential starts with his size, which is incredible itself. At age 14, he is expected to grow for another couple of years. For now, he wears a size-22 basketball shoe. His hands swallow the ball. His father, Balbir Singh Bhamara, is 7-2. His grandmother on his father's side is 6-9.
He already has a man's body with broad shoulders and a thick chest. Although his leg strength is not good yet, there is nothing skinny about him. Through the normal maturation process -- if he continues to work -- he should become quite a specimen in the next five years.
It's a bad joke at this point, but if you're a 7-footer and you can walk and chew gum, then you have a shot at the NBA. And, to be fair, most of the 7-foot NBA washouts just didn't have the coordination needed to compete at this level.
But if the quotes behind this story are any indication, and they do remind about what we were told about Yao Ming(notes) over a decade ago (Yao, lest you forget, averaged 25 points and 9.4 rebounds three years ago), so it's something to get giddy about.
Work on that drop step, Satnam.
(Image courtesy Eurweb.com)
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