Sacramento (United States): Gursimran 'Sim' Bhullar on Wednesday became the first player of Indian descent to play in the high-profile National Basketball Association (NBA) league as he made his debut for Sacramento Kings.
The 22-year-old came on with 16 seconds remaining in the Kings' 116-111 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Sleep Train Arena.
A few days back, the 7-foot-5-inch Canada-born centre had become the first player of Indian descent to sign an NBA contract. He had signed a 10-day contract to join the Kings' roster.
It was the moment he had been waiting for and Bhullar said he hoped he could help grow the game in India.
"It was a great feeling and I'm happy to be kind of an ambassador. This is just the beginning. I really think today was the moment, the big moment for me. There is a lot more to go and hopefully I get another chance like that soon," he said.
"Hopefully more kids growing up will see there's a player of Indian descent on the court and hopefully they can follow the game a bit more and grow passion for it to pursue it in future and we can get a couple more Indian NBA player," he added.
Bhullar, whose family migrated to Canada from Punjab, has already made waves in his blossoming career overcoming weight and height issues. Though he lost about 16kg to get in shape for NBA, the Toronto-born player still weighs little over 160 kg.
He had been playing in the NBA development league for the Reno Bighorns, who are an affiliate of Sacramento Kings. Not long ago he was at the college level representing New Mexico State.
Sacramento Kings is owned by Indian businessman Vivek Ranadive.