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7-foot Indian-Canadian brothers: Tanveer and Sim Bhullar

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  • 7-foot Indian-Canadian brothers: Tanveer and Sim Bhullar

    7-Foot Is Nice, Especially Twice

    Brothers take their show to a tiny Pennsylvania prep school.
    by Stephen Brodzinski

    The old saying, ‘Big fish in a small pond,’ couldn’t be more true in this case. Imagine a small, all-boys boarding school in the beautiful mountains of Saltsburg, PA, with an enrollment of about 210 students. The Kiski School is known for being one of the top academic schools in the country, with rich traditions and successful alumni. The athletic programs have been competitive, but the basketball program has never achieved great success. This past summer, former Division I coach Daryn Freedman took over as head basketball coach, and within weeks, things changed. Meet Coach Freedman’s new front court, a pair of 7-foot brothers from Toronto, Canada.

    Sim and Tanveer Bhullar are the first tandem of 7-foot brothers to play together, since Brook and Robin Lopez shined at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA. Sim is a sophomore listed at 7-4, while his freshman brother Tanveer is listed at 7-2. Yes, we said freshmen and sophomore!

    Both brothers are already highly ranked, with Tanveer being ranked among the top players in the Class of 2013 by some reports. For their enormous size at young ages, they both already possess an uncanny skill level and understanding of how to play the game. Head coach Daryn Freedman thinks the brothers are a special duo: “Their combination of height, strength, great hands and understanding of the game makes their upside unlimited.”

    To put this phenomenon into perspective, on the all-time list of millions of high school and college basketball players, you may find a short page of former or current 7-0 athletes. Even in the NBA right now, you may be able to count the number of actual 7-footers on two hands. Every so often you will hear about a high school basketball player reaching the 7-0 horizon, but almost never as a freshman or sophomore. And while the pool of 6-8 guys seems to have deepened over the years, the sprinkling of true big men has seemed to be running dry. Coach Freedman talks about the luxury of not only having one 7-footer, but having two on the same team, “In my nine years as a Division 1 assistant, I never saw a freshman or sophomore in high school that big, with that ability. Now I have both Sim and Tanveer that I can coach and help develop.”

    Sim and Tanveer will definitely be developed, being pushed by Kiski Prep’s new staff of former college and pro coaches. While they definitely need to get stronger, lose some weight, and gain some bounce, it is sometimes difficult to remember that they are so young. And having each other to play against on a daily basis, could be one of the greatest advantages for the young duo. While most vertically gifted high school athletes will have to practice against much smaller teammates, Sim and Tanveer will be able to play against another 7-footer every day.

    Growing up in Toronto, Sim says the he and his brother were close from a young age: “It is nice to have someone to always talk to and relate to, and we always challenge each other to go harder.” The value in them challenging each other to go harder is seen in every practice. Watching Sim try to dunk on Tanveer, or seeing Tanveer hit a jump hook over Sim, is just flat out fun to watch. Tanveer also understands the importance of having his brother to play against: “Playing with and against Sim helps me develop as a basketball player. I get to practice my offensive skills on a defender who can challenge me and I also get to practice my defense on him.”

    As they continue to improve, the brothers will be all over the national recruiting radar. They already garner tons of attention no matter where they go. At tournaments, parents pull out cell phones to take videos of the enormous pair, and people constantly ask for pictures. So it seems almost natural that Sim and Tanveer are tucked away in the hills of western Pennsylvania. Wanting to attend school in the United States, they chose the Kiski School for its great academic history, nurturing environment, and the belief that Coach Freedman and staff could maximize their potential. Though they stick out like a sore thumb walking through the scenic campus, they both feel at home in their new environment, and have already shown early success both on the court and in the classroom.

    Hoping to continue this success, both Sim and Tanveer have big aspirations to match their big frames. They hope to play at high major DI schools and someday make it to the NBA. Coach Freedman, who served on the staff of both the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, sees this as a real possibility, “Both Sim and Tanveer have shown the ability to dominate when they are at their best. With a lack of quality centers in Division 1 and the NBA these days, as the two continue to improve, there will be a lot of people watching them on a daily basis.”

    And many are already watching. The Kiski School has frequent visits from Division I coaches, checking out the potential

  • #2
    Forgot to mention that Bhullar brothers are from Indian descent. They usualy play together on the court.

    There is also a third Bhullar in US high-school (no family link with Sim and Tanveer as far I as know), his name is Jagdeep Bhullar, he is junior at Independence HS, in San José, California. Jagdeep is 6'0" tall.

    So this is my current list of indian players in US high schools.

    Sim Bhullar (7'4", Kiski, sophomore)
    Tanveer Bhullar (7'2", Kiski, freshman)
    Jagdeep Bhullar (6'0", Idependence, junior)


    • #3
      Great news today, Bhullar brothers are willing to play for India. Now India may have two amazing center for the next decade.


      • #4
        Originally posted by 3Scout4India View Post
        Great news today, Bhullar brothers are willing to play for India. Now India may have two amazing center for the next decade.
        Do you have a source?


        • #5
          Have you informed them about this rule below?

          Originally posted by yudhistir View Post
          Finally, I have many mails on players willing to play for India, But I would inform that the IOC (Indian Olympic Council) has made a law that players with DUAL CITIZENSHIP ARE NOT PERMITTED to represent the country in any sport. If you really want to then you have to surrender the foreign passport.And don't worry I have conveyed the same to Anish.


          • #6
            dual citizenship

            that is a dumbest rule india could have made only to protect the people who live in india and play ball, afgan had college d1 or d2 atleast players on their squad, actuall if im not mistaken pretty much their whole team was from over here, anyways talkin about best ''indian' players, this discussion starts and ends with pasha bains from surrey...aint no one even close to this guy....he played at clemson university which is in the acc over here in the states, thats division one, and the two brothers on the east coast, shouldnt go play in the asian games, they should try to get into the Nba ANd only if that fAILs then go there but as of right now they are uncordinated and sort of loppy but they are young so the jury is still out on that one but PASHA BAINS, google it...and


            • #7
              Originally posted by Czarkazem13 View Post
              Do you have a source?
              One of their teammate at Kiski HS is my source. The situation right now is that they are willing to play for India but they only have canadian citizenship.

              The rule that don't allow player with dual citizenship to play for India is really insane. Especially now, when India have two NBA prospects. It would be sad for indian basketball to see the Bhullar brothers wearing the canadian jersey.


              • #8
                Originally posted by c_d View Post
                Have you informed them about this rule below?
                Yes, I do.


                • #9
                  Well the Dual Citizen rule wasn't made by the Basketball Federation of India instead by the Indian Olympic Association.

                  It means no player with Dual citizenship can represent India in any sport. It all started after the Tennis team was being dominated by the Players who lived in other countries and just showed up during the time of tournaments.

                  This resulted in the Local players being put into a corner, finally after months of debate this rule was finalized.

                  As for Robinson, Well he is back, but don't expect him to do any wonders, He is 30 years now and 2 months ago underwent surges for multiple injuries.

                  Well I have received mails from as much as 50 players, but what can be done. The only thing using them that can be done is to develop the local game.
                  The whole life is summarized in two things;

                  Hankering for what we don't have
                  Lamenting for we have lost

                  -Srila Prabhupada

         India's top basketball site


                  • #10
                    well the thing that you can do with those foreign born players is that give them a good life in India with a sports related career while in return dropping their allegiance to their country of origin. With this I think you can uplift the situation and quality of domestic leagues in your country, exposing the game of your local players with those Indians who were raised in other countries. If the issue is budget constraint, well i think you could use the same formula that was used in promoting cricket in your country before.
                    you know why I am happy


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yudhistir View Post
                      Well the Dual Citizen rule wasn't made by the Basketball Federation of India instead by the Indian Olympic Association.

                      It means no player with Dual citizenship can represent India in any sport. It all started after the Tennis team was being dominated by the Players who lived in other countries and just showed up during the time of tournaments.

                      This resulted in the Local players being put into a corner, finally after months of debate this rule was finalized.

                      As for Robinson, Well he is back, but don't expect him to do any wonders, He is 30 years now and 2 months ago underwent surges for multiple injuries.

                      Well I have received mails from as much as 50 players, but what can be done. The only thing using them that can be done is to develop the local game.
                      THIS RULE IS SO STUPID. It means that players like Tanveer (center, 7'2"/245) and Sim (center, 7'4"/280) have no other choice than to play for Canada.

                      November, 2009: Bhullar's size is unmatched in 2013 as the 14 year old is already 7'2" and 245 pounds. While he's still raw in many ways his size gives him obvious and undeniable potential. Equally important, he shows the work ethic and high motor to continue to improve
                      November, 2009: It was a tale of two very different games for Bhullar this weekend at the National Prep Showcase. He was obviously overwhelmed by the environment in his team's opener and consequently struggled. But he settled down for the second and used his incredible size to change the game


                      • #12
                        Tanveer and Gursimren "Sim" Bhullar.

                        A potential college basketball franchise is being developed at tiny Saltsburg Kiski School, a prep school of 200 students in grades 9-12 located 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pa.

                        First-year coach Daryn Freedman entered his new position armed and dangerous with three towering transfers from Toronto, Canada. They are, in order of size:

                        - Sim Bhullar, a 7-foot-4, 300-pound sophomore

                        - Tanveer Bhullar, a 7-foot-2½, 285-pound freshman and Sim’s brother

                        - Stefan Jankovic, a 6-foot-9½, 210-pound sophomore

                        The first thing Freedman wants to get straight is that his rangy players "are not projects. The biggest thing is getting them in shape. At our first workout, Sim made it up and down the court twice and then walked the rest of the time. Now he’s mad if I take him out. Now both (brothers) want to play the entire time.

                        "When Tan came in, he never had dunked. After one and one-half months into the season, he made a two-handed dunk. Since then, he’s been pounding on people."

                        Freedman, who has been an assistant college coach under John Calipari and Ron Everthart, says, "I would compare Sim to (former Russian star) Arvydas Sabonis. He has very good hands and moves very well for a big guy. He has quick feet and a great shooting touch. He’s really coming along."

                        Sim, who already has lost 15 pounds, admits that his biggest adjustment to American basketball has been "running up and down the court. I wake up early in the morning to run and jog. Scoring has been the easiest – mostly from the post, but I also have a good mid-range jumper. My range now is 18 to 19 feet."

                        Sim has led the Cougars to a 16-3 record while averaging an impressive 18.7 points, 14.2 rebounds and 8.1 blocks. He even had a triple-double consisting of 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks.

                        Freedman notes that Tanveer "tries to pattern himself after Tim Duncan. He has power and finesse. He can be a great 3-point shooter, because he has an excellent touch. His big problem is foot quickness and strength."

                        The younger Bhullar brother concedes that "dribbling" has been his biggest challenge thus far. "I’ve been working on it a lot. Post moves – high and low – have been the easiest. Right now I’m a power player trying to work on finesse."

                        Tanveer started the year as a sixth man, but in recent games has joined Sim and Jankovic in what must be the tallest prep lineup in the USA. He is averaging 14.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.2 blocks. He usually plays the high post, with Sim down low.

                        Freedman characterizes Jankovic as "a sleek 6-foot-9 Keith Van Horn or Dirk Nowitzki. He’s a big guard in a tall, long body. He can handle and pass. Every two or three games, he jumps over someone and dunks. His weakness is (a lack of) strength."

                        Jankovic said he knew who the Bhullar brothers were back home, but "honestly didn’t know they would be here until a week ahead of time. When I heard, I was really excited. I would have more versatility added and could play on the wing. I’m more mobile and they’re a lot more effective down low.

                        "Every day we watch each other get better. Our low-post drills are amazing – how hard it is to stop them. It’s almost impossible. When I have to guard them in the post, I get pushed out of the lane easily."

                        Interestingly, Jankovic was born in Serbia, but his family moved to Canada when he was 6½ years old due to the war. The Bhullar brothers were born in Canada, but their parents are natives of India. All three are quick to admit they are here to earn college scholarships and chase their NBA dreams.

                        The versatile Jankovic already has turned in a spectacular quadruple-double: 14 rebounds, 13 points, 11 assists and 10 blocks. He is averaging 15 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.4 blocks.

                        They are something of a traveling circus, because everywhere they go they are besieged by onlookers who want to take their pictures and get their autographs.

                        With so many tall, young players, the Cougars appear vulnerable to pressing defenses.

                        "The press hasn’t really hurt us all year," Freedman pointed out. "We have two Division I guards (both post-grads). We press all of the game – even with the big guys. With our zone press, we take up a good portion of the court."

                        Freedman revealed that he wants to play in more national tournaments next year and he may not have post-grad players.

                        Meanwhile, when the season ends, the Bhullar brothers are going to try out for the baseball team. Sim says he wants to play shortstop. Has anyone ever seen a 7-4 shortstop?


                        • #13
                          Bhullar bros video.

                          Local School Has Giant Talent

                          SALTSBURG, Pa. -- Many NBA rosters don't have a player who is 7 feet tall. But a basketball team in Indiana County has two. Not only are they brothers; neither have a driver's license.

                          The Kiski Prep School is an all-boys boarding school, tucked away in the mountains of Saltsburg. It's considered one of the best academic schools in the country, but this year it's the basketball team that's reaching new heights.

                          Meet Sim Bhullar, a 7-foot-4-inch sophomore, and his "little" brother Tanveer. The freshman stands seven feet 2 inches, which is taller taller than Shaquelle O'Neal. The phenoms are making some noise.

                          The 7-footers hear the oohs and ahhs every time they visit a school, and they usually have to duck as they enter the gym floor. They are blessed with talent, but there have been some growing pains.

                          While adjusting to their large frame and size-20 shoes, they showed up to the first practice out of shape.

                          The Bhullars left their home in Toronto, Canada, to learn under Daryn Freedman. In his first year at Kiski, the coach has used his college and NBA experience to whip the boys into shape.

                          Kiski had to make special arrangements for its newest students, ordering custom-made beds and uniforms. For the first couple of games, the jerseys and shorts were two sizes too small.

                          Now a higher comfort level has found its way onto court. Sim even scored a triple-double this season. The Bhullars aren't the best players on the floor, but they make their teammates' job a little easier.

                          But there is a lot of pressure. The goal for them, and their teammates, is to play division one basketball and perhaps one day in the NBA.

                          Freedman said he has never seen kids so young, this big, and with this much ability. But the attention hasn't gone to their heads, and there is still room for them to grow.

                          Believe it or not, the Bhullar brothers said they don't have a hard time finding clothes. They mainly shop at big and tall stores. But on occasion their parents have clothes specially ordered from India, their native country.

                          Kiski Prep finished the season with a 16 and 3 record, and the team was undefeated at home.
                          Open the link, to watch the video.


                          • #14
                            Sim (C, 225, 1993) & Tanveer (C, 219, 1994) Bhullar

                            Last edited by Guest; 03-06-2010, 04:52 PM.


                            • #15
                              The Bhullar brothers look really raw and too slow for NBA, but like they say you can't teach height. India really needs to get them, a coordinated 7 footer is rare even in a land of a billion, much less two.
                              aim low, score high



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