Prashanti Singh To Be Awarded Arjuna Award
The 33-year-old Prashanti is the 18th hoopster to be recommended for the prestigious award.
“We have seen those hard days. But criticism kept motivating us. We are here because of our parents’ belief and we are here only because of their dedication,” ace player Prashanti told Hindustan Times.
With this feather in her hat, Prashanti became the third Indian woman basketball player to be nominated for the Arjuna, Suman Sharma in 1983 and Geethu Anna Jose in 2014 being the other two.
In a city like Varanasi where orthodox beliefs hold superiority, girls holding a basketball, playing around in shorts are beyond imagination. However, with support from her family, Prashanti alongside all her sisters challenged the system to play the dream game.
“I could have been an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer had I not taken up the game seriously. When it came to choosing one thing in life, I chose basketball,” confessed Prashanti, who would be the third Indian woman to get the prestigious award after Suman in 1983 and Geethu Anna Jose in 2004.
“I would have been happier had I got this award three years ago. But, it is still a big honour for me,” added Prashanti.
Prashanti holds the record of winning 22 national medals at many Asian championships
Prashanti, competed in two Asian Games, and was skipper at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Also she holds the record of winning 22 national medals at many Asian championships. She also captained India at the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010.
The Arjuna nominee, Prashanti said to TOI, “Finally, my efforts were considered and my family’s hard work for the last 25 years has paid off. I am thankful to all my teammates and wish to dedicate this award to my family and late Harish Sharma sir, who made me what I am today.”
She added, “This is the first big achievement of my family. Ours is a versatile family and my extended family members have played basketball, football and cricket. We five sisters cannot imagine our lives without basketball.”
Feature Image Credit: Wikipedia
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