Special moment for State girls

Special moment for State girls
It was a moment to savour for the two Karnataka girls when they got the calls to be part of the national under-16 basketball side. Center Sanjana Ramesh and point guard Grishma Niranjan, both from Bengaluru, will represent India in the FIBA under-16 women’s Asia Cup here.

“We both have been dreaming about this for a really long time. Since our under-13 days, it has been our dream. To reach this stage, I mean, I can’t explain it in words,” Sanjana said.

“There are players who have attended camps before and have played internationals. But this is our first. It means a lot to us,” said Grishma.

The two were called to the national set-up after they guided Karnataka to the runners-up spot at the Youth Nationals in Hyderabad in July. Karnataka lost to Tamil Nadu in the final.
The joy doubled for Sanjana when she was made captain. The 16-year-old is aware of the responsibility that comes along with it.

“I wasn’t exactly expecting it in the beginning. When I found out, I was really excited. The coach told me about it. At the same time, there will be a lot of responsibility. I need to be serious to take this role. But I know that I am not alone here. All 12 of us have the same dream... that is for India to qualify from ‘B’ division to ‘A’ division,” said Sanjana, a student of DPS (South).

Both hailed the impact head coach Zoran Visic has made in his short tenure with the team. “He shows basketball in a different way. What we haven’t experienced yet. A new way of basketball, which is really helpful,” Sanjana said.

“He’ll even take your hand and show around the court to explain why we are doing that. It is really helpful for us to understand, though there is a language barrier sometimes,” the Beagles player added.

“His achievements were awesome. It is such a great pleasure. We are grateful to have such a foreign coach. There is a lot of difference between the basketball we learnt and what he’s taught us. So he had to start from the basics. We had to complete all this in two months,” Grishma, a Cluny Convent student, explained.

With the fight for promotion to Division ‘A’ starting from Sunday, Sanjana is not taking anything for granted. “This is our first year and we don’t have much exposure, so we respect all the teams. We are just going to face the competition as it goes on,” Sanjana said.

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