Priety Kumari, a first year B.A. Programme student from Sri Venkateswara College, may not be a popular name in DU yet, but she definitely has achievements worth a mention. After having made a name for herself in the field of sports in her hometown of Gajipur in Uttar Pradesh, Priety moved to Delhi in search of better opportunities like many other aspiring youngsters. She has played basketball with different teams at national and even international levels and owns a host of medals. However, it is probably the unpopularity of her chosen sport in the country that has stopped her from gaining the kind of attention she rightly deserves. DU Beat brings to you an exclusive interview with Miss Kumari.
Would you give us a brief account of your background as a basketball player?
I took up the sport in 6th grade. Starting initially at school level, I gradually excelled to national and international level under-16 tournaments. The latest match that I played was with my college team on the 29th of December, 2014. It was of the senior national level and garnered us a silver medal.
How well does the college facilitate the sport? Are you satisfied with the efforts of the college?
Sri Venkateswara lacks even a basic basketball court due to which the players are compelled to practice at a rented ground in Vinay Marg. However, the college does arrange for international coaches from Spain, U.S.A., etc. for our training.
Do you wish to take up basketball as a career? Since India does not have any prominent names in the field of basketball as it does in sports like, say, cricket or hockey, who has been your inspiration?
Yes, absolutely. My seniors whom I have played with in my school years are my inspiration. There is one girl, Renu, who has touched my life in particular.
It is sort of a stereotype that popular sportspersons often lag behind in academics. What would you say about it and have you defied that trend?
I do believe that I have managed to strike a balance between academics and my sport. It is very rare that sports alone prove enough to take you places. Normally, a basic graduate degree is at least required in whichever field one pursues. Moreover, you never know where your knowledge might come in handy.
What is your plan ahead?
I have been selected for the post of a clerk in Indian Railways, the appointment letter for which is still awaited. Once I receive it, I will join the basketball team there and play for the country.