Canadian Sim Bhullar has signed a contract to join the Sacramento Kings in training camp, becoming the first player of Indian descent to ink a deal with an NBA team.
The Kings announced Bhullar's deal Friday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The 7-foot-5, 360-pound centre was born in Toronto and played two seasons for New Mexico State, where he averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks to lead the Aggies to back-to-back NCAA tournaments.
Undrafted this spring, Bhullar was part of the Kings team that won the NBA's summer league tournament in Las Vegas last month. He will compete for a spot in training camp behind centre DeMarcus Cousins and could be a candidate to join the franchise's NBA Development League affiliate in Reno, Nevada, where he could have more time to develop his skills.
"I've long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation," said Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, the league's first Indian-born majority owner.
"While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans."
Bhullar's 7-foot-3 brother Tanveer is a member of the New Mexico State team but did not appear in a game last season.