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Sonia Raman publicly announced in September that she would be going to the NBA Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant coach. Raman, the coach of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology women’s basketball team accumulated the most wins in the program’s history.
When she called a video meeting to tell her players the news, most of them thought that it had something to do with the coming season. They were totally taken by surprise when Raman told them that she was going to the Grizzlies.
Kylie Gallagher, a senior forward said:
At first we were like, Grizzlies? What college is that?
Raman laughed and quickly reiterated that she was headed to the N.B.A.’s Memphis Grizzlies. She thanked her players and staff. Her players were shocked but very happy and excited for her.
She coached the M.I.T. Engineers for 12 seasons shaping them into a regional power. In Division III women’s basketball Raman has a reputation for being a smart, dedicated, resourceful coach.
Who would have thought that Division III women’s basketball would be a pipeline for the NBA? Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said:
If you’re really, truly going to find the best people, you have to be open-minded, Great coaches exist everywhere.
Four months in with the Grizzlies, she was involved in scouting opponents, player development, analytics, an area that she has a particular interest in. During the preseason coach, Jenkins would pass by Raman’s office and would always see her laptop open to game film.
Lucia Robinson-Griggs a longtime assistant coach under Raman was feeling the effects of her jump to the NBA. Robinson-Griggs said:
I’ve gotten a lot of calls from coaches who are just like: ‘How did this happen? How’d she wow them? And a lot of it was just Sonia being Sonia. The idea of being a student of the game gets thrown around a lot, but that’s Sonia and everything that she embodies.
Robinson-Griggs continued her evaluation of Raman expressing that she was not demonstrative during games or practice. But her path to teaching the game is very methodical. Meghan O’Connell, a former assistant, and interim coach shared that Raman believes that preparation is everything.
Written by Omari Jahi
The New York Times: She Thought the Grizzlies Wanted Hiring Advice. They Wanted Her, Scott Cacciola
The American Bazaar: Memphis Grizzlies hire Indian American Sonia Raman as an assistant coach, AB Wire
The Guardian: Memphis Grizzlies hire MIT’s Sonia Raman as assistant coach,
Featured Image by Orange(no facial hair Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Christopher Boyd Jr Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License