The mesmeriser

Shooting it right: A.Praveen Kumar. Photo: S.R.Raghunathan   | Photo Credit: S R RAGHUNATHAN

Praveen Kumar is one of those rare players in Tamil Nadu who can pull off a stunning basket with grace and elegance. When the ball handler charges in with the ball, the options are innumerable. He can make a drive-in, complete a brilliant lay-up and make some stylish but effective passes befuddling the opponents.

The ongoing Senior National basketball championships, Praveen's first, has been a fruitful experience so far. The 21-year-old hailing from Chengalpattu started playing the sport in his school St. Joseph's HSS where his coach Anand taught him the basics.

Recruited by Indian Overseas Bank six months ago, Praveen has made quick strides to be rated as one of the most important players in the Tamil Nadu team. The big break for Praveen came during the Jeppiaar Trophy all-india tournament in October this year. He played a vital role in the semifinals and final to enable IOB clinch the title. “I thank IOB for giving me the chance. Everybody noticed me in the tournament and that turned out to be the turning point for me,” he says.

Praveen played for Gopalapuram BC for a year, a time he says he improved his concentration and focus. “We gave a tough time for some of the top teams. I learnt a lot of things during my stay in the Club,” he says.

Praveen does his morning exercise with his IOB mates at Loyola College and plays basketball at JJ Indoor Stadium in the evenings. He watches Tamil films and “like all people surf the net.” He admires NBA player Lebron James for his aggressiveness and good use of his physique to score and Sambaji Kadam for his approach to the sport.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 12:25:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/the-mesmeriser/article2735038.ece

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