A remarkable thing happened on Friday morning at the basketball court of St. Michael’s GHSS. Aswathi Jayasankar scored all of Kendriya Vidyalaya’s 47 points against Providence GHSS in an all-Kozhikode semifinal of the St. Michael’s Trophy all-Kerala inter-school tournament.
Providence won the match 55-47, but the talking point was the astonishing effort from Aswathi. It’s not every day you see one player scoring all her team’s points, that too in a relatively high-scoring game, at any level.
“In my three decades of following basketball closely, I have never heard of anything like this before,” says K.O. Ommen, a veteran referee and administrator who has probably watched or followed more basketball tournaments than most Keralites. “It’s an amazing feat, no doubt.”
And 14-year-old Aswathi, a Class IX student, has played a few other matches in which she scored pretty heavily, though not quite cent per cent.
Earlier at the St. Michael’s tournament, she had scored 30 out of her team’s 37 points against St. Joseph’s HSS, Alappuzha, and 40 out of 44 against St. Michael’s.
In the final of the all-India Kendriya Vidyalaya tournament at Jabalpur last month, she scored 51 points in her school’s 58-49 victory over Delhi.
In other games of the tournament too, her percentage was heavy — 61 out of 75 against Chennai and 44 out of 50 against Ahmedabad.
Aswathi says she has been scoring heavily of late because she has been getting to play more tournaments. “Though my teammates don’t score many points, I get excellent support from them,” she says. “I feel my game has improved a lot now.”
She has already represented Kerala at the National mini championship and is aiming high. “I want to take up basketball as a career,” she says.
Her coach, S. Sreejith says she is one of the best players he has ever come across. “She is an exceptionally talented shooter,” he says. “She has remarkable speed and aggression and will be an even better player when she improves her defence.”