Babykutty: Arjuna Award Winner (and arguably India’s greatest women’s basketball player) Geethu Anna Jose and her husband Rahul Koshy have been blessed with a baby boy. The boy has been christened ‘Koshy’ at the St. Mary Malankara Church in Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram on June 14th 2015 at an intimate Ceremony of close relatives.
About Geethu Anna Jose
Gopalakrishnan R: Basketball player Geethu Anna Jose hails from Kottayam, Kerala and is currently employed as a deputy chief ticketing inspector with the Southern Railways. She completed her schooling from the Mount Carmel Girls Higher Secondary School before joining Southern Railways in 2003. Her tryst with basketball began at the age of 11 after switching from athletics and volleyball.
Jose has enjoyed a glittering basketball career over the past decade after she made her debut on the Senior Indian team in 2004. She has a series of firsts to her name. Most notably, she is the first Indian, male or female, to be called for tryouts for America’s National Basketball League in 2011 (or NBA), the most elite professional basketball league in the world. Though Jose wasn’t selected, that achievement remains the farthest any player trained in India has gone till date. (Earlier this year, Indo-Canadian men’s player Sim Bhullar was signed by Sacramento Kings for their preseason programme.)
Jose is also the first Indian woman to have played professionally in the Australian basketball league for the Ridgewood Hawks, a tier II league within the state of Victoria, an experience which sharpened and toughened her. Her impressive performances ‘down under’ from 2006 to 2008 led to her being offered a spot in Team Dandenong in the Women’s National Basketball League (NBL), Australia’s elite professional league, an offer she couldn’t accept due to personal reasons.
The Keralite has been the mainstay of the senior Indian national team for most of her career, captaining the side on numerous occasions. Playing the centre position, the 6ft 2 inch Malayalee has shouldered most of the scoring responsibilities for India. She frequently averages over 20 points and 7 rebounds per game in international matches, culminating in her becoming Asia’s top scorer in the 23rd Asian Basketball Championships in Chennai in 2009.
At the national level, Jose has been virtually unstoppable, transforming her Indian Railways team into a domestic powerhouse, winning 11 out of the last 13 Senior National Basketball Championships. Her long time partnership with Southern Railway and India teammate Anitha Pauldurai is well known. The two of them, along with Manisha Dange and Pratima Singh constituted the Indian team which won gold in the 1st FIBA Asia 3 on 3 Championships, 2013 held in Doha. Last year, the Senior Indian women’s team also finished in its best ever fifth position at the 2013 Asian Basketball Championship, thanks to a win over Kazakhstan in the elite Level 1 pool.