India's women basketball team has benefited from the appointment of national coach Pete Gaudet, according to Shireen Limaye, the youngest hoopster to have made the senior side at the tender age of 16.
It's been a smooth transition from the junior to senior circuit for the 5 feet, 11 inches Limaye, who felt the sport would benefit further in the next few years from the injection of professionalism.
"Foreign coaches are much better, as they don't yell like their Indian counterparts during a match. But, they explain where we went wrong after the match. Also, with Zak Penwell from Scotland coming in as fitness trainer, we will be stronger in coming times," Shireen told MiD DAY during an NBA Jam event yesterday.
Limaye is an exceptional athlete, having indulged in roller-skating, netball, and cue sports, besides basketball at a competitive level. With father Vijay, a former national swimmer, and mother Suvarna, a former basketball player, she took to sports quite naturally.
"I was selected to represent the country in the U-21 snooker World Championship two years ago, but I chose basketball as my first priority.
I want to achieve what my mother (Suvarna) wasn't able to. In five years, I want to see myself in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)," added Shireen, who idolises Michael Jordan.
Taking positives from the recent FIBA Asia Championship where India finished sixth, she looks forward to leading India in the FIBA U-16 event to be held in China from December 5.