By Justin Parker
Anyone who has been to Trinity’s men’s basketball games during the past four years has probably heard fans chanting for Coach Pat Cunningham to put fan favorite Darsh Singh in the game. This season, fans haven’t had to chant for Darsh – the team co-captain has appeared in every game, and every time he plays, he makes a statement.
As a follower of the Sikh religion, Darsh speaks volumes by wearing a turban and allowing his beard to grow. In fact, it’s believed that he is the only turbaned Sikh to play in an NCAA basketball game. The Sikh faith, which is around 500 years old, has more than 23 million followers, but it remains a mystery to some Westerners.
Darsh’s appearance can sometimes bring out the worst in people. At a young age, he was forced to come to terms with the fact that his appearance made some people suspect him of being involved in terrorism. But Darsh doesn’t let it get to him. He says those very prejudices helped to solidify his faith and make him the person he is today. His statement involves one of his firmest beliefs: “If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, don’t do it.”
Darsh also involves himself in numerous groups and organizations. He is not only a basketball player for the Tigers, but he is also a resident mentor and an active member of TUVAC. He serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, is a part of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur and Save Darfur, and he is president of the Students Creating Awareness of the Sikh Faith. He has volunteered in various Sikh organizations in Chicago, Maryland, and Washington D.C., and is a repeat guest lecturer at a leadership development program. Darsh also was recently selected as a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges recipient.
He is an engineering science major who is affiliated with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and who has been on the SCAC Honor Roll (minimum qualification of 3.20 GPA) for three of his four years at Trinity. Following graduation, he plans to work while he pursues his professional engineering license and then go on to get his MBA. Darsh is minoring in mathematics to prepare him for a position involving investing and budget planning, among other things.
For now, he is enjoying his time as a Trinity student. Darsh is always eager to share his beliefs with those willing to listen, and he credits the Trinity community’s support and encouragement for enhancing his college experience. He no longer notices when fans of other teams point to his “different” look. He’s too busy trying to help his team win basketball games.