Image courtesy Krittika Divadkar.

Image courtesy: Krittika Divadkar.

Krittika Divadkar, 19, seems sorted in her priorities. The 5ft 7 inch basketballer from Pune has already captained Maharashtra at the u-19 school nationals, played for the senior state team and represented India internationally at the u-16 and u-18 levels. Divadkar is now pursuing a sports management degree in Australia.

“I have been a sportsperson all my life and am extremely passionate about sports in general. I knew that studying something related to this field is what I will enjoy and look forward to.”

‘Kri’, as her teammates call her, started hooping at the age of eight, after quietly observing her elder sister practise. “I really do not think there is an answer as to WHY (I chose basketball) but of course it is basketball and has always been.”

The guard has mastered the ‘fake, dribble and pump shot’, one of the many moves in her arsenal. “I used to train for about ten hours a day. Three hour sessions in the mornings which consisted of fitness and drills, then a mid-session of two hours for shooting (all types of shots) and another three hours in the evening for more drills and team games! Beyond these eight hours, I also worked on some individual skills like ball handling and passing. Gym workout followed by swimming would be on alternate days in place of the morning session.”

Hugely inspired by her idol, ex-India women’s captain and Coach Shiba Maggon, Divadkar hopes to contribute towards making basketball India’s second most popular sport. “The course that I am doing here studies the business aspect of sport. I not only have the usual core units like marketing and management but also get to study subjects like ‘sports in society’ and ‘sport organisations’. It is an amazing degree to get keeping in mind the increasing scope for it, especially in a place like India. I hope to gain from this experience, share what I have learnt with everyone back home and encourage others to take up this sport.”

With a level head on her shoulders, she is working towards her “top dream” of donning the senior Indian women’s team jersey. “I take each day as it comes. Remind myself to always be positive and patient and then good things will happen.”

Note: Krittika is also a columnist for Ekalavyas. You can read her column on sports management here