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USC Basketball’s Samer Dhillon: ‘We Have To Believe In Indian Talent’

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Samer Dhillon
Samer Dhillon

Samer Dhillon’s playing days at USC are behind him, but he hopes what he brought to the game will push basketball to look closer at players of Indo origin.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – Samer Dhillon only logged three points during his senior season with the USC men’s basketball team this season, but the 6-foot-8 Indian-American forward will remember those three points as the greatest moment of his collegiate basketball career.

During the final game of the season, head coach Andy Enfield summoned Dhillon off the bench to make just his seventh appearance of the season. In the grandstands were his family and friends, who had traveled from across California and the rest of the country in numbers (40, to be exact) to watch the 22-year-old play in possibly his last NCAA Division 1 college basketball game.

“It was the most Indians ever at a USC game,” Dhillon recalled during an interview with NBA India. “Aunties and uncles I haven’t met for ages – it was like a big Indian wedding!”

With less than 30 seconds remaining on the clock, with the Trojans cruising to victory, Dhillon attempted and made his only shot of the game, a three-pointer.

“It was an incredible opportunity and the crowd went wild.”

While Dhillon’s playing days at USC are behind him, it represents just a single chapter of his life journey thus far. For a young man who grew up in Sacramento, Calif., born to parents who immigrated from Punjab, Dhillon has undoubtedly developed into one of basketball’s most interesting characters. Off the court, he has been putting the finishing touches on his pre-med degree, hoping to one day develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Aside from that, Dhillon also provides investment consulting, work that has earned him millions of dollars.

His company, Quest Investment Firm, was founded three years ago after he graduated from Sacramento’s Inderkum High School with valedictorian honors – at USC, he’s also maintained the team’s highest GPA for two years running. The company provides a range a services from asset allocation to portfolio review to wealth management and investment strategy and management, according to its website. Currently, Dhillon has 34 clients, as well as three part-time employees, six solicitors, a lawyer and tax strategist. Whether he has the know-how and expertise to become as established at the leading Jacksonville wealth management services remains to be seen at this moment in time.

Basketball remains the connecting factor in his multiple influences and ambitions.

“Basketball has influenced my whole career,” he said. “I combined finance and athletics to create the wealth management company for athletes where I now manage a lot of money for NBA and NFL players. As with medicine: I want to do more medical research related with athletics, too, like concussions.”

 

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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