Telengana based tennis player Shrivalli Rashmikaa has been making waves in the Junior Tennis circuit in India for several years. The 20-year-old already has two AITA Junior National Championships to her name, and holds the distinction of winning an invitational event staged by Roland-Garros in India in 2018, wherein winners of the competition got an opportunity to compete in Paris for a wildcard entry into the Junior Roland-Garros main draw. Rashmikaa has also been a semifinalist at an ITF Grade 3 event and is only focused on going from strength to strength in her fledgling tennis career.
Since the basketball matches at the Khelo India University Games 2021 began on 23rd April at the Kanteerava Stadium, one man has been a regular feature in the spectator gallery: Veselin Matic, the Indian men’s basketball team head coach. The Serbian who has been with the national team for over three years has not missed a single game. “I’ve been here for the past three-four days and I have watched some interesting matches. No doubt, there is a lot of talent in India and some of these players are quite good,” Veselin Matic said.
With some of the basketball matches being fought till the last wire, Matic said the level of competition is quite intense. “It is very important for players especially in the U-26 category to get good matches. Competitions like the Khelo India University Games will definitely contribute to the basketball eco system especially at the school and college where basketball is a popular sport,” he added.
Veselin spoke on the sidelines of Jain University’s loss to Kurukshetra University 67-73 in men’s group A. In other matches on Tuesday, Panjab University beat Jamia Millia University 90-72 in group B men, and in women’s group A, University of Madras beat Mahatma Gandhi University 67-56 while Guru Nanak University defeated University of Mumbai 85-56. In group B, Kurukshetra University beat hosts Jain University 50-45.
Having watched the players closely these past few days, Matic said, “I know most of these players. They are either in India camp or I have seen them play before. But there are a few fresh faces in this tournament who have shown potential. This is why a competition like this is important so they gain confidence and also get an opportunity to play against top players of the country,” he added.
The Semi-finals and final of men and women’s basketball are scheduled to be held on Wednesday at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium.