Young hoopster aims to don India colours

Young hoopster aims to don India colours

HARD WORKER Karan Kumar has represented Karnataka at the Sub-junior and Youth Nationals. DH Photo/ Srikanta Sharma R

K Karan Kumar acted on a piece of advice from his brother and that has turned out to be life-changing. Karan was in the third standard when his brother Shravan observed his interest in sports and suggested him to try out basketball.

“I used to see my brother Shravan play and that made me feel that I should also try this game,” recalls Karan, a student of Delhi Public School, South.

“He told me that I have a good height (now 6’ 1’’). I was pretty tall in the third grade. He told me to try out basketball. Once I started playing, I fell in love with the game.”

Since then, he has spent a number of years honing his skills. The 16-year-old trains at the Koramangala Sports Club under coach Umashankar BC, who is impressed with his shooting abilities and hopes to see him in Indian colours in the future.

“He is a very hard-working boy, surely, if he competes, he will develop into a good player and India will have a good shooter,” says Umashankar. 

Karan received his first big call in 2016 when he made it to the Karnataka team for the Sub-junior Nationals in Puducherry. That outing didn’t turn out as well as he expected, with Karnataka finishing tenth in the final standings. 

Two years later, he was named in the state squad for the Youth Nationals in Udaipur. Karnataka produced a much-improved show in this competition and finished fourth after going down to eventual champions Rajasthan in the semifinals. 

Good experience

Karan, averaging almost 15 points per game in the eight matches, was pleased with his performance. “It was a very good experience,” says the hoopster, who is a shooting guard in the state team. “It showed me where I stand among the national players. So based on that I have to work even harder,” he added.

The Bengalurean was never short of support at home. Karan’s father K Sudhakar is a businessman and mother K Sireesha works in a real estate company. Both have always backed his passion.

“It is because of my parents that I am playing basketball. They are very supportive,” acknowledged Karan, who hopes to play in a professional league in the future.

For now, the youngster is focused on training in the camp at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium for the Khelo India Games.