NBA Academy women’s camp draws to a close

Aspirants displayed enthusiasm and hunger to fine-tune their basic skills and learn the finer points of basketball from the best in the business. There were many awards to encourage them as the camp concluded on Tuesday.

U-17 girls train on Tuesday at Greater Noida.

There were many awards to buoy the Under-17 girls as the NBA Academy women’s camp concluded on a bright note at the Jaypee Green Sports Complex on Tuesday.

The 18 girls showed enthusiasm and hunger to fine-tune their basic skills and learn the finer points of basketball from the best in the business. Sanjana Ramesh from Bengaluru and Vaishnavi Yadav from Allahabad were declared the ‘Most Valuable Players’ for their “exceptional skills during the camp as well as the championship game.”

In the concluding match, Team Sparks beat Team Liberty 18-8.

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Siya Deodhar from Nagpur was adjudged the ‘most improved player’, Grishma Niranjan from Bengaluru was declared the ‘sharp shooter’, and Rajvi Desai from Madhya Pradesh was named the ‘best defender’. Pushpa Senthil Kumar from Kerala received the coaches award for ‘exhibiting true sportsmanship and leadership skills on and off the court’, while Khushi Dongre from Maharashtra was presented with the ‘best team-mate’ award.

‘Best days’

Sanjana Ramesh said, “These three days have been the best of my life. Every player here is an MVP. We all have improved. The camp has taught us so much about team spirit, unity and that is something that I am going to take back from here.”

“The three days here have taught me so much more than what I have learnt in the past. I am pretty sure I will only improve as a player,” said Vaishnavi Yadav.

Bright future

The specialist coaches praised the girls for their potential and ability to grasp the lessons. Two-time WNBA champion Ruth Riley said, “It has been an amazing three days. I was curious to know the talent level here and I am really impressed with what I have seen, a lot of potential and the hunger to learn is there. The skill levels are good and I can say that the future is looking bright for basketball in India.”

Atlanta Olympics gold medallist Jennifer Azzi, one of the coaches here, said, “It has been one of the most exciting and heart warming camps. There is so much talent and the campers have shown tremendous energy. They are very coachable.”

The education for the girls will continue with the Basketball Without Borders Asia camp which will start on Wednesday.