New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) In a generous gesture, Basketball Federation of India (BFI) president K. Govindaraj on Friday decided to monetarily support the family of Satnam Singh with a monthly stipend of Rs.50,000.
The 19-year-old Satnam made history earlier this year by becoming the first Indian to be drafted as a player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the world’s most competitive and elite professional basketball league.
Govindaraj met Satnam here on Monday and decided to go ahead with the financial support.
“By overcoming numerous obstacles, Satnam has immensely contributed in putting Indian basketball on the world map and continues to bring positive attention to the sport within India. Even though he is still very young, he has already shown himself to be a capable role model for other Indian youth to aspire and realise their full potential,” Govindaraj said.
The son of a farmer, Satnam grew up in the tiny village of Ballo Ke in Punjab. By the age of nine, he was already six feet tall, and at the advice of an uncle, he was sent to Ludhiana Basketball Academy to hone his talent.
At 14, he was awarded a four-year scholarship to train in the United States. He kept making rapid strides, while parallely returning to India during his breaks to represent his home state of Punjab in the National Championships.
He has also represented the Indian junior and senior national teams. He was drafted by Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.