The Sacramento Kings have signed Sim Bhullar, the tallest player available in the 2014 NBA Draft, making the center the first player of Indian descent to play professional basketball in the United States.
At 7-foot-5 and 360-pounds, Bhullar will be the most physically striking player to hit the NBA since Yao Ming joined the Houston Rockets in 2002.
The 21-year-old big man played college ball at New Mexico State for the past two years, averaging 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. He was twice named Western Athletic Conference tournament MVP on the way to two NCAA tournaments.
He will join the Kings, the only team in the NBA with an Indian-born owner, during training camp.
Team owner Vivek Ranadive is excited to tap into his homeland, which he describes as "the next great frontier" of American basketball.
"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," Ranadive said.
"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."