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Satnam Singh makes leap from NBA to wrestling, returns to DFW

After a career in basketball, including being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, Singh is now making a name for himself in the world of wrestling.

GARLAND, Texas — All Elite Wrestling held an event last December in Garland, which saw a homecoming for a new pro wrestler, and a former Dallas Maverick.

“I feel like home,” Satnam Singh said. “I’m back in my hometown.”

Singh, a 7-foot-2, 370-pound giant, is a hundred pounds heavier than he was when he was signed by the Dallas Mavericks. He was a second-round draft pick by the Mavs, but never actually played for the team—instead, playing for their developmental team, the Texas Legends from 2015 to 2017, and then playing for the St. John’s Edge in the National Basketball League of Canada from 2018 to 2019.

“I feel like they didn’t use me,” Singh said about his time with the Mavs. “They can grow basketball to next level in India but they didn’t try that.”

But the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.

After finally stepping foot off the court, his next step would be into the ring. AEW came calling.

Singh said he had been interested with wrestling since he was playing with the Legends, and COVID-19 opened the door for him and led to his manager setting up an interview between him and AEW Owner Tony Khan.

“He walks out there…everyone is interested right away!” said AEW VP of Production and Training Michael Cuellari, known on TV as the wrestler QT Marshall, who helped train Singh.

A guy the size of Singh, Cuellari said he’ll never be the kind of wrestler to work 20-minute-long matches.

“But he’s a spectacle, and that’s what pro wrestling is,” he said.

Cuellari has previous experience working with former basketball players, including Shaquille O’Neal, who wrestled one match in AEW in March of 2021.

“They make the best transition to professional wrestling,” wrestling legend Jeff Jarrett said. “Because of the foot work and the defense. It’s a bit of a dance.”

What also helps, he said, is Singh’s agility and strength.

“He has true superhuman strength,” Jarrett said.

When they began training, Cuellari said he had Singh give him a suplex – a move where one man lifts his opponent vertically into the air and drops him back down onto his back.

“It was just one suplex,” he said. “It was a suplex at 7 feet in the air. When I landed I just said, ‘just pin me. I’m done.’”

Since he’s joined AEW, Singh’s been paired up with wrestling veterans Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Jeff Jarrett, acting as their muscle and joining them in multi-man tag matches.

“He never breaks,” Lethal said about Singh when they are recognized in public. “He’s the kindest person who takes any pictures they want.”

Wrestling is a big global market, Lethal said, and everyone is clamoring to tap into it, including in India.

“He’s showcasing to 1.4 billion people in India that if I can do it, you can as well,” Lethal said.

Now with his basketball career behind him, Singh said he has a new dream: to become a world champion.

“He’ll be world champion one day,” Jarrett said.

As written in ink across his arm, Singh says he still feels like he’s “one in a billion.”

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