He turned Geethu Anna Jose into an international star. Tim Mottin, coach of Melbourne’s Ringwood Hawks, believes Indian basketball could come up with more players like her.
He had a close look at some of the country’s top female hoopsters during his team’s five-match series against Kerala All Stars, which concluded here on Sunday. “I am particularly impressed with P.S. Jeena,” he told Sportstar. “She looks a natural and is very consistent with her shooting.”
He said he wouldn’t mind her training with Ringwood Hawks. “I would like to work with her; I think she could do well in Australia and in Europe even though she has to fine-tune her game a bit,” he said.
“But players like her would have to take that decision; they would have to think of the national duty, of course. I feel, however, that they could become much better players after a stint in leagues abroad.”
Besides, Jeena, Mottin said he saw potential in Grima Merlin Varghese and Shireen Limaye as well. “And I also like P.G. Anjana; she penetrates the defence well,” he said. “And she is a good athlete, too, but she has to work harder on a few areas.”
Looking back at the series, which Hawks won 4-1, he said he and his players enjoyed it greatly. “The series was fantastic, really,” he said. “All the matches were fought well. It was a good opportunity for my team, to play in a different environment.”
Mottin had reasons to be pleased, particularly with one of his players — Cassidy Mihalko — whom he had picked from the collegiate competition in the United States. She was arguably the best performer of the series and was particularly devastating in the last game. She was, in fact, the difference between the two sides, as Hawks won by six points.
“I could spot a player, can’t I?”, he said with a glint in his eyes, right after the match. He certainly has an eye to pick talents. Geethu is a proof of that.
“The moment I saw Geethu, I saw huge potential in her,” he recalled. “She was very raw, but I could sense that she was exceptionally talented. And she lived up to my expectations, going on to win the ‘most valuable player’ award.”
Mottin said he would like to work with more Indian players. “If the basketball federation in India wants me to train their players, I would be delighted to oblige,” he said. “I feel I could contribute to Indian basketball.”
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