Before he made history by becoming the first Indian player to be drafted into the NBA, before be began to play for the D-League's Texas Legends, and before he became a role model to South Asian basketball lovers around the world, Satnam Singh was just a Sikh child from a small village in Punjab, trying to realize his hoop dream at basketball camps in Ludhiana, and turn his humble opportunity into an unlikely success story.
On Saturday, May 21st, Satnam Singh attended the first-ever fundraiser for Sikh Kid 2 Kid (SK2K), an organization made up of the Sikh youth in the DMV region, at the RockVille SportPlex in Maryland. The fundraiser featured basketball and football tournaments as well as carnival games, raffles and food. Maryland House Delegate Aruna Miller also attended the fundraiser to support SK2K's cause. Satnam played basketball with the youth, comprising of a group of kids of all backgrounds intermingling with the local Sikh community.
"In India, there are a lot of players who can make the NBA, but they don't have the chance," Satnam said, "They need the opportunity. If you have access to the opportunities and the facilities here, make sure to use it."
Miller, the first South Asian delegate from the city, also spoke to the kids and educated them about the democratic process. She later added that Satnam was a trail blazer in his field and was able to be a different type of role model for South Asians.
Sikh Kid 2 Kid’s wide variety of projects include students training teachers to create culturally accepting environments in their classrooms, facilitating workshops to help render positive body image among the youth, and educational camps for weekly online English classes to underprivileged children back in Punjab. In order to battle Punjab’s drug epidemic, SK2K is also designing and implementing a drug prevention programme for the region.