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How Shireen Limaye went from being a netball star to Indian basketball captain

The Indian women's basketball captain Shireen Limaye talks to The Bridge about her journey to the top.

Shireen Limaye basketball india nivia sports

Shireen Limaye in action during a match (Source: Instagram)


Abhijit Nair

Updated: 9 March 2022 11:16 AM GMT

Despite being the South Asian giants, basketball in India has never been able to reach the mainstream. While the country's men hoopsters are ranked 80th in the world in the most recently released FIBA World Ranking, the women are ranked much better at 58th position.

The Indian women, who are ranked 9th in Asian currently, have been putting up some decent performances off late. They finished 8th in the recently concluded FIBA Women's Asia Cup in Jordan and have displayed to the world the kind of potential they hold.

Leading the Indian team in Jordan was the 27-year-old veteran Shireen Limaye. Having started playing the game when she was just 5-year-old, Limaye rose through the ranks quickly to not only establish herself as one of the most important players in the current Indian setup, but also take on the mantle of captain at a very young age.

"When I was 5, I took up basketball because of my mother. She is a coach at the PYC Hindu gymkhana and I took up the sport just to spend some time with her," shares Limaye to The Bridge.

Shireen is a multi-talent sportsperson and is a skilled roller-skater and snooker player. More impressively, the basketball captain has also represented India in netball at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"I did roller skating for a year. I took up snooker and billiard in 2007-08. I became rank 2 in both in u-19 and u-21 when I was only 13. I also represented India in the CWG 2010 in netball. But, currently I'm focusing on just basketball," she states.

Hailing from a sporting family with both her parents and sibling having played various sports till the national level, Limaye stresses on the need to improve infrastructure for the development of sports in the country. She also goes on to state the role played by Nivia Sports to develop basketball in the country.

"Till the state level, we all practice with Nivia Sports since it's our official partner with the Basketball Federation of India. Nivia Sports has helped grow the sport in this country. We even wear their jerseys. Play with that ball whether it is indoor or outdoor. They been a huge help to grow the sport in India," Shireen says.

She is also optimistic about the future of women's basketball in India, especially after the national federation announced the launch of a new league for the sport in India.

"The league announced by the federation has been of great help. Slowly and steadily basketball is growing for women. More women are coming out and playing this sport. There has been a visible change in the number of women who have taken up basketball as a career," she said.

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