The Sacramento Kings signed 7-foot, 5-inch, 360 pound center Sim Bhullar to a contract on Friday, potentially making him the first-ever player of Indian descent to appear in the NBA's 60-plus year history. The 21-year-old Bhullar was born in Toronto to first generation Indian parents.
In a statement released on the team's website, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé said that he hopes Bhullar will inspire a new generation of NBA players from India.
While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans.”
Bhullar played two seasons for New Mexico State University where he averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 2.9 blocks while playing 25.3 minutes per game. He helped the Aggies reach the NCAA tournament twice and was awarded the Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP award in both 2013 and 2014.
Bhullar, who wasn't drafted, had been playing with the King's summer league team.
The NBA currently has a healthy roster of successful international big men, most notably Dirk Nowitzski of Germany, Luol Deng of South Sudan, Pau and Marc Gasol of Spain, Serge Ibaka of Congo, Al Horford of the Dominican Republic, Marcin Gortat of Poland, Anderson Varajao of Brazil, and Luis Scola of Argentina.