Reinvent and stay motivated: Ticha Penicheiro to RF Jr. NBA players on tackling COVID challenge: With Covid-19 forcing most sporting activities in India to be stalled, women’s basketball Hall of Fame inductee Ticha Penicheiro has urged young players to deal with the challenge by applying the tools they’ve learned on the court to their everyday life.
The 46-year old Penicheiro, who won the WNBA championships with the Sacramento Monarchs in 2005, was interacting with young basketball players in India at an online clinic organised by the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program. Penicheiro, widely recognised as one of the best point guards in the history of the game, called on young players to reinvent themselves and find the motivation to stay connected with the sport. “Life is about sharing your space with people. Whether it is about being a teammate, being a good sister, a good daughter, a good neighbor in society in general. Teamwork is super important to know how to navigate and to be a part of a system. Then there is perseverance that you learn the best from playing a sport. You are going to lose games, have injuries and that’s life, and it is not easy and you’re going to have a lot of hurdles,” Penicheiro said.
“It teaches you to not quit. Basketball gives you a lot of tools that you can apply in real life. Besides perseverance, the other thing is to have a positive mindset. To make sure that you face all these circumstances that we are living in, it is important to be positive. Basketball has definitely helped me to cope with the situation we are living in right now.
“These are unprecedented times and unfortunately, we are all living in a time we have never lived in before. We all have to get used to living in these new times. If we can have a little more motivation, like these sessions, it is amazing. We all have to reinvent ourselves. So, this is the best time to do stuff at home,” she added.
Since inception in 2013, the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has reached more than 11 million youth in 13,000 schools in 34 cities across India. In the absence of on-ground activities this year, the program is hosting a 12-week Live virtual clinics featuring NBA, WNBA and NBA G League players, legends and coaches. The program aims to engage participants in skill development, leadership and life skills sessions and among those who have already conducted sessions are NBA legends Roy Hibbert & Sam Perkins, WNBA players Sydney Colson, Azura Stevens & Dearica Hamby and Roy Rana, Assistant Coach of Sacramento Kings.
On Saturday, the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA morning live session will feature Tyrese Haliburton, who has been making waves in the NBA in his first season with the Sacramento Kings, making him among the contenders for the NBA Rookie of the Year award.