Divya Singh, born on 21 July, 1982 is a former captain of the Indian National Women’s Basketball Team. Singh led the Indian women’s basketball team at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. She is known for her game skills, leadership qualities, academic strength and personality. She has done Sports Management at the university of Delware, Newark, Delaware, in the year 2008 to 2010 and worked as an assistant Women’s basketball coach for UD.
She comes from the Varanasi’s “Basketball family of India” whose four out of five sisters have either played or playing for Indian national team. Her sisters Prashati, Akanksha, and Pratima have represented Indian National Women’s Basketball Team. Together, they are known as Singh Sisters.
Here are some of the excerpts from the interview that he had with her.
Ruhani (Aapka Times): You have been the former captain of the Indian National Women’s Basketball Team, you are a post graduate in sports management and now also a basketball coach. How has been the journey till now?
Divya Singh: Basketball has given me everything. Everything means everything. If I studied, I could play basketball. My father was very strict. So, basketball gave me the strength to study also. Because the kids who play some sport, don’t study much, no? So, I could go to US and study and we were serious about studying while playing also. I have done my post graduation in Sports Management. Basketball has given me everything. I have not only studied there, I have also coached Women Basketball Team and CLSS Level 1 which is why I have a little more experience in coaching. So, my experience in coaching skills is what I have got from US to continue my career as a coach.
Ruhani: At what point did you realize that being a professional basketball player is a real possibility for you?
Divya Singh: No, I actually feel that we didn’t know why we were playing. It was just for fun sake for us. We played with full dedication and it worked out eventually. Our hardwork paid off. Then, we got a passion to play for India, to perform for India. I stopped playing in 2007 and recame in 2011. So, when I started playing, we were at Level 9, and then, we reached to level 1 and came fifth which is a very big thing because we have China, Korea, Japan and many more nations.
Ruhani: Was your family always supportive of your ambitions as a player?
Divya Singh: See, nobody knew what we wanted to do. My mom always said- “whatever you do, do it with full passion, hardwork and you’ll succeed.” My father wanted us to take professional jobs or related stuff. So, we were studying also. Today, I am happy beacuse Basketball has given me everything. Everything means everything.
Ruhani: What all do you enjoy apart from basketball?
Divya Singh: I like dancing, singing. I love painting also. Also, I love going for rides, long rides. And I love to sit at India Gate at night, talk to my friends, family. We all go there. So, these are some of my hobbies.
Ruhani: Not only you, four of your sisters too are in the Basketball team. So, was anyone the inspiration for all of you?
Divya Singh: No, my eldest sister, she was the first one who started playing. She used to be very good state player of Uttar Pradesh. She was the one who encouraged us to play. Her name is Priyanka.
Ruhani: What has been the best strategy to really motivate your team to play hard and well?
Divya Singh: According to me, when you feel good, when you have no compulsion to play, then, you love what you play. So, hardwork automatically follows. This is the only strategy to play hard and well.
Ruhani: What are your future plans and aspirations?
Divya Singh: I am starting my Basketball academy with my friend. So, we want to produce very good players. I really want to start my own academy. So, that would be my next target in the future.
Ruhani: What message would you like to give to the youth who want to take basketball as their profession?
Divya Singh: See, basketball is a very fantastic game. It really involves concentration, speed, jump, whatever you can think of as an athlete, it includes everything. So, i would not say that you should take basketball as a profession. even if you don’t want to take basketball as a profession, it is a wonderful game to play. So, everyone should play basketball and enjoy and remain healthy and fit.