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Indian-American appointed NBA basketball assistant coach for Memphis team

Memphis Grizzlies, an American professional basketball team, which competes in the NBA, has hired an Indian-American as its assistant coach.

Sonia Raman joins Vin Bhavnani (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Roy Rana (Sacramento Kings) as the only coaches of Indian origin in the National Basketball Association.

Raman becomes the 14th female assistant coach in the history of the NBA and the 10th among current coaching staffers in the league. She becomes the seventh female coach to be hired as an assistant in the league since the beginning of the 2019-20 season.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, she replaces Niele Ivey, another women’s assistant coach who left for a head coaching position at the University of Notre Dame.

“She has a high basketball IQ and a tremendous ability to teach the game, as well as a strong passion for the game,” head coach Taylor Jenkins said.

“She is going to be a great addition to our current coaching staff.”

Raman had served as the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2008. She guided the programme to their first championships with consecutive NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) titles in 2018 and 2019. She is the “winningest coach” in the programme’s history, according to her official bio on MIT’s athletic website.

She began her coaching career at Tufts University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations in 1996. After a two-year stint with her alma mater, she spent six years as the top assistant coach at Wellesley College before joining MIT.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff. I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started with Taylor, his staff and the team’s emerging young core,” Raman said.

“I must also give a truly special thank you to MIT and the women I’ve had the honour of coaching for the past 12 years. I wish the programme continued success.”