For 16-year-old Asmat Kaur Taunque three things matter a lot to complete her daily routine— Playing Guitar, Singing, and Basketball. A Punjabi by birth, Asmat spent her childhood in Chandigarh, before playing for states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Standing tall with a height of 6 feet, she finally found what she eagerly looking for— A chance to turn pro in basketball. She was among the five girls who were selected from the NBA Academies Women’s Programme (India) in order to get a chance of becoming the first-ever WNBA player. Her casual fling with basketball turned into a serious interest when her school coach asked her to join the team considering her height.“I started playing at the age of 13 and it was just because of my height. My grandparents and parents belong to Chandigarh. My father had a transferable job and I stayed there (Chandigarh) for almost five years. My roots are in Chandigarh and it will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Asmat.“Thereafter, I moved to several places but in Indore, I was asked to join my school team. I was tall among all my teammates — which obviously was an advantage —but that made me think about the future in basketball,” added Asmat.
She completed the NBA training camp in May 2018, before getting selected for the NBA training programme in the USA. She is currently pursuing her studies from Lawrenceville School (New Jersey) under the WNBA scholarship programme. She played her first tourney while representing Madhya Pradesh in U-14 nationals, since then there is no look back. “Just after the U-14 tournament, I went on to play for the U-19 category and for the Senior Open Nationals. Within a span of three years, I played in eight national tournaments of various age categories,” said Asmat. She hogged the limelight after she scored a buzzer-beater shot in the U16 FIBA ASIA Cup 2017 final against Malaysia. The Indian team topped the pool. In the next year, she was awarded the prestigious MALWA award and ISPORA Award.“There were no such plans to turn professional. But now, I am fully dedicated to basketball. I want to turn professional by playing in the Women’s NBA,” said Asmat, who has the honour of getting train under the supervision of Olympics gold medallists cagers Jennifer Azzi and Ruth Riley. She is not only an achiever in the field of basketball but she excellent in academics too. “Under this NBA programme, we were allotted schools. I got into this New Jersey’s top school on the basis of my A-grade record throughout the school years. On the basis of consistent performance, I have received three scholarships (academics and sports) of$1,65,000 to pursue my career. I will be staying here for little more than two years,” said Asmat. WNBA-a a prestigious professional league. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States and is currently played among 12 teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996, and started in 1997.
( Text Source: tribuneindia )
Tags: Asmat Kaur | Basketball Player | Indian Basketballer | U16 FIBA ASIA Cup | NBA Asia Basketball | MALWA Award