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Her heart is still in Australia

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Geethu Anna Jose.
Geethu Anna Jose.

Stan Rayan

KOCHI: The Americans are keen to have her in their WNBA League. And she has offers from Chile. But Geethu Anna Jose’s heart is still in Australia.

Geethu, the first Indian woman to play for a foreign club, plans to continue in Victoria State’s Big-V League for at least another couple of years.

The 22-year-old, the country’s best basketballer and the Asia Championship’s top-scorer, has been playing for the Big-V’s second division side Ringwood Hawks for the last couple of seasons. She is now keen to pay back the side for giving her the big break.

“I feel I have an obligation to help Ringwood to the first division,” said the Kerala-born Southern Railway star here on Tuesday.

Exuding confidence

“I could play just six of the team’s 22 matches this season as I had the Asian Championship in South Korea in June. The situation was the same last year. But next year, I want to give Ringwood a full season. And I know I can carry the side to the first division,” said Geethu .

Ringwood won all the matches that Geethu figured in, with the Indian pivot scoring heavily in every game. She was named the Big-V League’s Player of the Month in August, for the second successive season.

A few weeks ago, her performance helped Ringwood qualify for the league’s final phase, a knockout affair. “But since I had not played a minimum of seven games, I was not eligible to play the finals,” said Geethu who returned from Victoria a few days ago.

In the end, Ringwood finished sixth — only the top two qualify for the first division. “But we beat four of the five teams that finished above us, in the league phase.”

Paying rich dividends

Her outstanding show was rewarded when Geethu was selected to train with the Buleen Boomers, an Australian Women’s National Basketball League side, for nearly a month in September. She was one of the 18 outstanding players picked from different clubs, from various divisions, for the special camp.

Delhi’s Divya Singh, the other player to get an offer from Chile, has been coaxing Geethu to accept it. “I heard that the crime rate in Chile is very high, I was worried. I told Divya about it but she doesn’t want to miss the chance.”

Having ruled out Chile, she is keen on improving her game before she looks at the bigger stage like the U.S.

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