Geetu hopes her efforts in WNBA will open doors for others

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2011, 19:32 PM IST

Mumbai: A nervous yet excited Geetu Anna
Jose, who became the first Indian player to be called for WNBA
trials, hopes her efforts will open the floodgates for other
talented hoopsters in the country.

"It is a very big opening for my juniors. There is a lot
of talent coming. If not me I want them to be successful. If I
get selected it would be a good promotion for the game in the
country," the national women`s team skipper said here today.

"I am very happy, selected or not. To be in WNBA is like
a dream for me," said the 25-year-old Kottayam girl, who will
leave for the United States of America on April 23 for a
two-week trial with Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks after
NBA director (operations) in India Troy Justice and senior
women`s coach Tamika Raymond along with the Basketball
Federation of India (BFI) managed to pull a few strings
together.

"I am really very nervous. I am carrying everyone`s
expectations. Am taking everyone`s suggestions. There is a lot
of pessimistic view as well whether I would be able to compete
with them (her WNBA rivals). All the basketball lovers want me
to do well," she adds.

"Ever since I got the news 2-3 weeks ago I have been
training for it and have been trying to maintain my fitness
levels."

On what she would like to learn from the players in the
WNBA, she said, "Their style of shooting is a lot different. I
need to pick that up."

The reception of the news about her being called for WNBA
trials in the Jose household was taken a lot differently than
when her father first learnt about her playing the sport.

"My mother supported me all the way. My dad wanted me to
only concentrate on my studies. He didn`t know that I was
playing basketball. He felt that I was attending my classes
when I would be playing basketball. The first time he learnt
that I played basketball was when he saw my photograph in a
newspaper. He was shocked.”

"Now they are happy. More happy than I am. My mother was
confident all the way," says the 6 feet 2 inches Jose, who is
easily the best woman player in the country.

This is not the first foreign stint for Jose, who has
played for a couple of seasons in the Australian league
earlier.

"Australia was a great experience. I really thought
after the first season that they won`t call me again. But I
did well and was the player of the month soon after the 2006
Commonwealth Games. When I was coming back, my captain there
couldn`t control her tears and asked me to comeback again,"
she said.

PTI