Basketball is a game which demands speed, agility and stamina from the player. Our city’s women’s basketball player P.U. Navaneetha has been an outstanding performer in women’s basketball in the country. Presently this 23-year-old basketball player is representing India in the FIBA Asia Women’s Basketball Championships which began at Bengaluru yesterday. She is our ‘Star This Week.’
Navaneetha, employed with South Western Railways (SWR), Mysuru, is the only player from Karnataka to find a place in the current Indian senior women’s team which is taking part in the FIBA Asian Women’s Basketball Championship. Navaneetha played a stellar role in her team Indian Railways triumph in the National Championships held in Mysuru. She scored 14 points in her team Indian Railways 72-55 win over Kerala in the final. She was adjudged as the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the Tournament.
Before joining SWR, Navaneetha was trained at the DYES Sports Hostel, Mysuru. She has represented India in the FIBA Asia U-16 Championships held at Pune in 2009-10 and has also attended the Indian Senior and Junior camps. She is the recipient of the prestigious ‘Ekalavya Award’ and KOA Award for her feats in the sport.
Navaneetha is the daughter of P.P. Udhay Kumar and P.U. Girija, who are residents at Suntikoppa, Kodagu.
Encouraged by her parents, she joined Sports School, Vidyanagar, and later on joined Sports Hostel, Mysuru in 2006. Initially, she was coached by B.S. Girish, SAK Basketball coach and DYES & SAK Basketball coach M.B. Patil at DYES, Mysuru.
A forward, Navaneetha is an attacking player and impresses with her skill-full play. She began her career by representing Karnataka in the School Nationals held at Punjab in 2008 and from then on, has never looked back. She has represented the State in the Women’s Nationals, Youth Nationals from 2009 till 2010 and in 2011, she represented the State in the Senior and Junior Nationals in Delhi.
She represented the Mysore University in the Inter-University Championships in 2011-12 at Kannur and has been a regular in the team from then on. In 2009-10, her excellent play in the Nationals earned her the Indian cap when she donned Indian colours in the 1st FIBA Asia U-16 Championships held in Pune. She also took part in the NBA All India Tournament held at Delhi in 2001-12. She took part in the Junior Indian and Youth Indian camp held at Delhi and Tamil Nadu.