THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the Australian basketball club, Ringwood Hawks, are set to tour Kerala in November, one person who would be super-excited is Geethu Anna Jose. Geethu had turned up for the BigV basketball league contender for three consecutive years, from 2006-08, thereby becoming the first Indian woman to play for an Australian club. Geethu credited those outings for her rise as a better player and felt that the visiting club’s coach Tim Mottin, who has a knack for scouting talents, will be scrutinizing the performance of young Indian players.
“I had a chat with Tim during the FIBA Asia Cup in July during which he had enquired about fresh talents. Wherever he goes, he keeps his eyes open for young players. Though he hasn’t revealed anything to me during the recent conversation, I felt he would be doing the same. Watching out for potential recruits,” Geethu told Express.
Geethu said there were a lot of talented players in India, but they lacked good foreign exposure. She also felt that players like Jeena P S have got the stuff to make it to the foreign professional leagues.
“Jeena is one current player who has impressed me. She is not too tall, but her shooting percentage and fighting spirit are inspiring. I think she will be getting a foreign call-up soon. If that happens, then it will raise the standard of her game,” the celebrated center said.
Geethu said the Aussie club’s visit should be fully utilised. “Earlier they had plans to visit India, but that didn’t materialise. This is a great chance for Indian basketball to improve their standard. It’s highly difficult for an Indian player to go to Australia and when they are coming to us, we should make full use of it,” she said.
Since Geethu’s Australia sojourn, no second woman hoopster from India has played in the Australian league. As the Hawks are set to play five matches against Kerala All-Star women’s team, Geethu is optimistic that history will change.
“Youngsters should be playing in foreign professional leagues. That will be a game changer for them,” she said, before adding that training under a good foreign coach will raise one’s standard of the game by several notches.
Geethu still rues not being able to play in the WNBA- the women’s counterpart to NBA- and said her career would have been on a different level had she made it to the league.
Hawks will be touring Kerala from November 5 to 12 where they will play five games in five cities across the state.
November 5- Regional Sports Centre, Kochi
November 7- VKN Menon Indoor Stadium, Thrissur
November 9- Indoor Stadium, Kottayam
November 11- Jimmy George Indoor Stadium, T’puram
November 12- VKK Menon Indoor Stadium, Kozhikode.