Blog By: RIYA RATHORE
Kavita Akula, also called as Kavi by her team mates hails from Chattisgarh. This young star has played for over 10 years and 13 different teams. She spent the last couple of years in the IMG Academy, Florida training under the best coaches. She was the captain of the Chattisgarh junior team last year which won the gold medal at Kochi and also represented India at the Incheon Asian Games. Earlier this year, Kavita made the bold move of joining a junior college in Kansas in the the hope of one day reaching her dream of becoming a professional athlete. We took the opportunity to speak to Kavita about her personal journey and to wish her the very best in her basketball aspirations. Akula’s play earned her recognition far beyond Bhilai – she was tutored by India’s leading basketball coach, Rajesh Patel, and became one of the best women’s players in the country. Growing up, Akula aspired to play basketball professionally or to coach the sport in India. But her mother wanted much more than recognition of her daughter’s basketball prowess. She also wanted Kavita to get a great education, which Damyanthi Akula didn’t believe she could get in Bhilai. Akula was one of eight players from India to earn a basketball scholarship to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. She was in the same IMG class as Satnam Singh, who now plays for the Dallas Mavericks’ Developmental League team. IMG not only offers one of the best sports training programs in the world, it has a good reputation for its educational programs. Although Bradenton is nearly 13,000 kilometers from Kavita’s hometown, her parents decided it was worth it for their daughter to further her education and improve her basketball skills in the United States.
Akula played for Team India. She started at point guard for the team that lost to Japan in the early stages of the 2014 Asian Games – an experience that taught her she had the ability to play against top-flight competition Kavita — a consistent performer in her own right — was left on the sidelines. Satnam, an imposing 7’2” centre, had the physical attributes needed to catch the attention of the basketball kingmakers. Kavita, on the other hand, did not. He is very tall, which is a big advantage. When he was picked by Dallas Mavericks, I was upset, because he got the chance to jump straight from high school to professional basketball.
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