Basketball and India

This Week in Indian Basketball History: First-ever NBA Academy India Women's Camp is conducted in 2018

NBA Academies Women's Program 1st year

In May of 2018, the NBA tipped-off it's first-ever NBA Academy India Women's Camp at the NBA Academy India facility at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).

The three-day camp, from May 27-29, brought together 18 of the best U-17 female prospects in the country to be coached by some of the best in the business.

The campers were set to learn from the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame member Jennifer Azzi, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time WNBA Champion Ruth Riley, former WNBA player Ebony Hoffman and former college coach Blair Hardiek, among others.

MORE: Exclusive with Blair Hardiek

Here's a complete list of all the prospects from this camp: Khushi Ahlawat, Riya Baliyan, Priyanka Behal, Siya Deodhar, Rajvai Desai, Khushi Dongre, Monica Jayakumar, Anmariya Johny, Sunishka Kartik, Neha Karva, Grishma Niranjan, Sanjana Ramesh, Radha Rani, Sreekala Rani, Pushpa Senthil Kumar, Asmat Taunque, Vaishnavi Yadav, and Ann Mary Zacariah.

On the final day of the camp, a championship game between Team 'Liberty' and Team 'Sparks', which Liberty won 18-8. Following this game, the camp concluded with the handing out of the awards to the star performers.

Only, the first-ever NBA Academy India Women's Camp didn't have one MVP but they had two. Bangalore's Sanjana Ramesh and Allahabad's Vaishnavi Yadav were named Co-MVPs.

MORE: Exclusive with Sanjana Ramesh in Jan. 2019

Now, two years later, both are playing college basketball in the United States. Ramesh committed to NAU [North Arizona University] less than six months after this camp while Yadav was signed by Pensacola State less than a year after this camp.

Here's a look at the rest of the awardees:

Name Award
Siya Deodhar Most Improved Player
Grishma Niranjan Sharp Shooter
Rajvi Desai Defensive Player
Pushpa Senthil Award Sportsmanship and Leadership Skills
Khushi Dongre Best Teammate

This camp went on to become a mere stepping stone for some of the girls, who simply jumped to greater heights after this camp.

Niranjan went on to be named Camp MVP in the second NBA Academy India Women's Camp held in January of 2019 and then, got selected to be the only Indian girl at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Charlotte during the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Deodhar has been an awardee at every one of three Women's Camps held in India. Recently, she was among two girls selected to the Basketball Without Borders Asia Camp 2019 in Tokyo and the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Chicago during the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Khushi Dongre, who was also part of the second camp, was part of ASA College of Miami's signing class of 2019. Asmat Taunque, 2019, joined the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey

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