To celebrate Women's History Month, Sanjana Ramesh honoured Anitha Pauldurai on the NBA Academy's Instagram channel.
Anitha and Sanjana were coach-and-player on India's U17 Women's squad that clinched Division B of the FIBA Asia Championship in 2017.
"You could say she is the definition of hard work and persistence," Sanjana says. "She has had multiple surgeries on both her knees, has two kids, and has come back and made a big impact in the basketball community."
"She inspires me to be better not only as a basketball player but as a person every day."
Anitha, a member of three Gold-medal-winning India squads, was named among the 2021 Padma Shri awardees - the fourth-highest civilian award in India.
As per the Basketball Federation of India, she is only the second basketball player in their history and the first since Prashanti Singh in 2019 to receive the Padma Shri honour.
Sanjana, currently playing at Northern Arizona University, is an alum of the NBA Academy India Women's Program.
She was a co-MVP of the program's first-ever camp held in May of 2018 and went on to be named MVP of the ensuing Basketball Without Borders Camp at the NBA Academy India facility at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).
MORE: Lookback at 1st-ever NBA Academy India Women's Camp
Six months after those camps, Sanjana became the first alum from the NBA Academy India Women's Program to commit to NAU when she signed a letter of intent, making her only the second Indian-born female player after Kavita Akula to receive a Division I Basketball Scholarship
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