Hailing from a small village named, Ballo Ke in Barnala district of Punjab, the 7-feet-2-inch hoopster went to US in 2010 on an IMG-Reliance scholarship programme.

Satnam, 19, created history by becoming the first Indian to be drafted into the USA's prestigious National Basketball Association when he was picked up by Dallas Mavericks.

"Thank you to everyone for the support and I am so excited to start with the Dallas Mavericks. I finally now have a chance to say thank you to some very important people as without their help I could not be here," Satnam wrote in his 'Facebook' page.

"Thank you to the late Dr Subramaniam who saw something in me and started coaching me when I was 8 years old. Thank you to to Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal and Mr RS Gill for always helped me, coached and took care of me when I am in India. Also, thank you to (late) Mr Harish Sharma who gave me the biggest opportunity to come to US to begin the journey. Thank you to Mr and Mrs (Mukesh) Ambani and IMG-Reliance for the scholarship which allowed me to attend the IMG Academy," he added.

He also thanked his family, trainers and teammates.

"To everyone at IMG Academy - thank you all so much. All the coaches, staff, trainers, teammates, and teachers who helped me. I could not be here without you. Of course, thank you to my family and especially my mom and dad who saw something great from a young age and sacrificed so much for me," Satnam said.

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