April 14, 2019

Geethu Anna Rahul - Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

There has been a recent explosion of Indian basketball stars making a name for themselves abroad, playing in Japan, playing in Australia, in the US, even getting all the day to the NBA draft. But before there was all this, there was Geethu. Geethu Anna Rahul (formerly Jose) is one of the greatest players to ever set foot on a basketball court in India - in any gender. Through a scintillating career over the past decade, Rahul emerged as an indomitable force in the Indian domestic scene, played pro abroad, got a sniff of the WNBA, and ended up with the Arjuna Award. For her accomplishments, she's the newest addition to the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

Born in Kottayam, Kerala, Rahul began her career with Kerala's team, and later, with Southern Railway in Tamil Nadu in the early 2000s. She shot up to 6-foot-2 by the time she became a senior player, and soon overshadowed every other player of her generation. She played in eleven national championships for Railways, winning 10 gold medals, and finishing second only once, to Chhattisgarh in 2014.

Internationally, she was the only Indian player to play at a level that left the highest-level of opponents scrambling for answers. At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia, she finished as the basketball tournament’s MVP, leading scorer, leading rebounder, and leading shot-blocker. In 2009, Chennai hosted the FIBA ABC, and Rahul was named India’s captain. Making the most of the home court inspiration, she helped India return to Level 1 with a sixth-place finish and ended as the tournament’s top scorer. She also helped India win gold at the FIBA Asia 3×3 Basketball Championship in Qatar.

Rahul became the first Indian player to play professionally in Australia, representing the Ringwood Hawks, where she won MVP of the Big V division and was selected by the WNBL. In 2011, she made history by receiving invitations to tryout for three WNBA teams. She and her Railways’ teammate Pauldurai also played a season professionally in Thailand.

She played in her final FIBA ABC in 2013 and became only the second Indian women (up to that point) to be conferred the Arjuna Award in 2014.

Click here for more of the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

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