India’s Sanjana receives Division I scholarship with NAU Basketball

Sanjana Ramesh caught the eye of college recruiters when she was named the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the girls‘ division at Basketball Without Borders Asia.

Sanjana Ramesh at The NBA Academies Women’s Program camp in May at The NBA Academy India. (FILE IMAGE)   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Indian teenager Sanjana Ramesh has signed for the Northern Arizona University women’s basketball team, becoming the second Indian-born female player to receive a North American Division I college basketball scholarship.

Sanjana, 17, will be an incoming freshman for the 2019-20 season. The Bengaluru player captained the Indian team in the 2017 FIBA U-16 Asia Cup. Averaging 6.5 points and 7 rebounds per game in the tournament, Sanjana helped India win Division ‘B’ and earn promotion to Division ‘A’.

Sanjana caught the eye of college recruiters when she was named the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the girls‘ division at Basketball Without Borders Asia. The three-day development camp had featured top male and female prospects from Asia.

“Everything is managed professionally in U.S. colleges. Every day there will be like training with the Indian senior team. The competition is very tough, so this will help improve my game. The aim is to get a WNBA professional contract, and to also represent India at
the highest level,” Sanjana stated.

The 12th standard student at Delhi Public School (South) here stated that her game has improved considerably in the last couple of years. “The 2017 under-18 Nationals was the turning point for me. I played well for Karnataka, which gave me great confidence. Before that, I was not part of the starting five,” Sanjana said.

Northern Arizona University women’s basketball coach Loree Payne said, “Sanjana is an athlete who has international and national experience.  We’re trying to get our foot in the door of the international recruiting scene. So for us, Sanjana is everything we’re looking for.
Her potential is limitless.”

In 2017, Chhattisgarh hoopster Kavita Akula enrolled at Grand Canyon University, and became the first India-born female basketball player to receive a full scholarship from a Division 1 college.