Sunishka hogs limelight with her scoring spree

Sunishka Karthik is one of the brightest basketball talents to emerge from Karnataka in recent years.

Sunishka Karthik is one of the brightest basketball talents to emerge from Karnataka in recent years. She gave a glimpse of her potential with a stupendous show in the State Youth under-16 tournament that concluded here on Wednesday.

In the semifinal league stage, the 15-year-old scored a whopping 53 points against Beagles and 34 against Vimanapura SC to single-handedly power her club NGV BC to a second-place finish.

The young hoopster had also captained the Karnataka under-13 team at the Sub-junior Nationals in 2017 in Rajasthan. Although the side finished fifth in the competition, she made heads turn with her performance. 

“She is very talented. We work one-on-one a lot. We work on her fitness and her skills. She is very dedicated and hard-working. She wants to grow as a player and take it up full time. She wants to play for India and in a professional league,” said NGV head coach Pramod.

Last year was big for Sunishka, who was first chosen to participate in the NBA Academy India women’s training camp and the 10th Basketball without Borders Asia camp in May. The Bengaluru girl then competed at the Junior NBA World Basketball championship in Orlando where she won the Community award – it recognises players who are committed to giving back to those in need. Earlier this year, she went for NCAA and NBA Next Generation Showcase Programme in Tampa, Florida.

Eye-opener

“More than anything, it was an eye-opener because it completely overwhelmed us. We have the skills but we just need to focus on building our body and getting a little more athletic. Our skills are almost on par with them,” Sunishka, a student of Baldwin Girls High School, remarked.

Sunishka, a point guard, took up the sport when she was 10 upon the advice of her grandmother (Laxmi). “When I was younger, I was really hyperactive. So, my grandmother decided to put me into basketball because there was a facility near my house. When I started playing, I really took to the sport. So, I just decided it’s something I want to pursue,” recalled Sunishka.

Her father Karthik, a businessman and mother Niveditha, who works at Oracle, have been by her side through thick and thin, but her biggest supporter is her grandfather (R Ravi), who has attended every tournament she has participated in.

“They’ve been with me through every basketball tournament. I think my grandfather has had the biggest impact on my career. He is the one who tracks my stats, points and everything. He is there at every game. No matter what. He just never misses them. So, it’s really nice to have someone pushing you (to do better) from the sidelines,” she said.

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