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Kings make history by signing Bhullar

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The Sacramento Kings made history Thursday when they signed Canadian center Sim Bhullar to a contract. Bhullar becomes the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team.

Bhullar, 21, was born in Toronto and played two years at New Mexico State. As a freshman, Bhullar averaged 10.1 points on 62.1 percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 35 games and was named WAC Freshman of the Year. Bhullar followed up a solid rookie season with an even better sophomore campaign, averaging 10.4 points on 64.8 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in 30 games.

The 7-foot-5, 360 pound Bhullar helped New Mexico State reach the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years and was twice named the WAC Tournament MVP. Bhullar holds the Aggies’ record for most blocks in a single season with 85. Bhullar was available but went undrafted in the recent NBA draft.

“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 Ranadivé. “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 (@SimBhullar2) posted pictures on Twitter shortly after signing the contract.

“Dreams do come true! Officially signed my first NBA contract with the @sacramentokings!!”

Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Bhullar will be competing in training camp to be the primary backup to starting center DeMarcus Cousins, but is expected to spend a majority of next season with the Reno Bighorns, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Kings.