NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – North Salem High School boys basketball star Umar Singh is The North Salem Daily Voice Athlete of the Month for January.
Singh became just the seventh player in school history to score 1,000 points with a 22-point performance against Blind Brook on Jan. 12. The four-year starter has been a double-double machine for the Tigers this season, and that trend continued in January.
“He’s just one of those kids that’s very dedicated. He works hard and wants to play at the next level,” said Tigers coach Henry Sassone. “He’s being recruited by schools like Plattsburg, Potsdam, Rhode Island College, Manhattanville and Mount St. Vincent.”
Singh did not pick up a basketball until seventh grade and was not even in the United States until fourth grade. He played soccer at first, but he saw his friends shooting hoops and became intrigued.
He started watching the game on television, enjoyed it and asked his mother for a basketball hoop for Christmas.
“Since that Christmas, I’ve just been playing basketball every day,” Singh said. “I really seem to love the game.”
Singh’s natural talent quickly shined through, and he has started for the Tigers’ varsity squad in each of his four years. So it was that much sweeter when he hit the 1,000-point mark because of those who were on the floor with him.
“It was a phenomenal experience, especially to be on the same court with these guys that I’ve played in the past with,” Singh said. “And to be remembered for that game at North Salem is just great.”
Singh always watched the Los Angeles Lakers on television and idolized Kobe Bryant. His favorite team has struggled this season, but they have won games when they have worked as a team.
That’s a style that Singh believes has elevated his play this season.
“It’s just my teammates,” Singh said. “They believe in me and I believe in them, and we’ve been working on our chemistry together.”