One in a Billion in SLAM: Interviews with RGTV's Roman Gackowski, OBB Pictures' Michael Ratner and Satnam Singh

One in a Billion, which chronicles the journey of Satnam Singh from an small Indian village to the precipice of the NBA, was recently featured in world renowned basketball publication SLAM


EXCERPTS

Here are two worlds.

World No. 1 is the Ballo Ke village, district Barnala, in the heartland of the India’s north-western state of Punjab...Electricity came here late, and mobile phones rarely connect. Ask for a cup of chai and someone will milk a buffalo in front of you. It’s dusty all the time.

World No. 2 is the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, opened in 2012 as one of the swankiest multi-event facilities on the planet. It cost over a billion US dollars to construct...Since 2013, it has hosted the NBA Draft in a room full of some of world’s richest CEOs, VPs, agents, and future basketball superstars.

These worlds are polar opposites of culture, economy, and lifestyle. And yet, through the course of one of the most inspiring stories in all of sports, one young man—Satnam Singh—lived through it all, marrying the dichotomy of the marginalized third-world with the highest stakes of the world’s richest basketball league, and journeying through it all while carrying the improbable hopes of a billion-strong country on his wide shoulders.
— Karan Madhok, SLAM
Satnam was 14 when he left his home, his family, and went literally halfway around the world. When you see the world he grew up in, to see where he was then, and then to IMG Academy in Florida, it’s another world. That was a story that we tried to tell. ...Satnam is a really good, true human being, who was trying to do so much for not just himself but his family and his country. You kinda get invested in a guy like that.
— Roman Gackowski, Producer/Director
We knew the stakes were high, and we couldn’t predict the ending—if he would actually get drafted. There are 1.3 billion people in his country and nobody had made it before. ...There is a scene in the movie, before the draft, when Satnam says that he has only opened the lock to basketball in India, but the door is still closed. This story is still going on, the end of the story is not written yet.
— Michael Ratner, Producer
I learned a new language, changed the way I talked to people. But I don’t like to change my attitude of where I’m from. My background is important to me. You should never forget where you come from...The most important thing in my life is to understand where my family is, to understand how much I had when I first came here, and why I came here. I came here to play ball, make a name for myself, make history for India. That’s why I have only one focus.
— Satnam Singh

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