Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Sim Bhullar, who played his college basketball at New Mexico State University, declared at the end of April for this year’s NBA Draft. If drafted or signed before the start of the season, Bhullar will be the first professional basketball player of Indian descent.
“Ever since I was a kid, nobody thought I would ever make it this far in basketball,” Bhullar said to the Las Cruces Sun-News. “People [my family] told me how proud they were that I was a good player at the college level and that I have made it further than anyone has ever made it from India. They just told me to follow my heart and do whatever makes me happy.”
At 7-foot-5, Bhullar is a giant in a sport that is known for its size and length. In two seasons at New Mexico State, Bhullar averaged 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in about 25 minutes of action. His 3.4 blocks per game in 2013-14 also helped New Mexico reach the NCAA tournament. Bhullar leaves New Mexico as a two-time Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament MVP.
Bhullar told the media that multiple NBA teams have reached out to him to better gauge his potential impact in the NBA. “I came out here [Houston] and worked out for a couple days,” Bhullar said. “I wanted to see where I’m at compared to other guys in the NBA. Coach [John] Lucas really really helped me out with that. He is a big part of the decision.”
“I know that if I’m drafted, I will be the first Indian,” he added. “It would be a great feeling. Hopefully I can make everyone proud. I have to keep working hard. Hopefully I will not only play in the NBA, but stay there for awhile.”