Satnam Singh Bhamara, who hails from a remote village in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab, became the first Indian basketball player to be drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA) after being selected by Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Singh, who stands 7 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 290 pounds, was the 52nd pick in the NBA draft.

Singh, 19, reportedly came into notice when he played for local clubs. He moved to the United States in 2010 as part of a scholarship program to train at the IMG Academy in Florida. He averaged 4.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in six games at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships and 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for the IMG Academy in the 2014-15 season.

“The feeling is of course unreal but it has happened and I feel that my entry will certainly open the doors for many aspiring basketballers in India to dream big,” Press Trust of India (PTI), a local news agency, quoted Singh as saying. “At least there is somebody with whom the youngsters back home can identify, somebody who is playing in the NBA.”

Singh is the first player in a decade to enter the NBA draft without any college degree or professional experience overseas. His highest level of experience is with the Indian national basketball team, Times of India reported.

Singh joins Canada’s Sim Bhullar, who became the first Indian-origin player to play in the NBA when he briefly featured for the Sacremento Kings earlier this year, PTI reported, adding that Singh looks up to NBA player Kobe Bryant.

“It is a big achievement by an Indian sportsman and we are all proud of him,” Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar told NDTV, a local news channel. “I would like to wish him all the best for the coming season and his career. I am sure the entire nation will support him.”