A 15-year-old young boy of Indian ethnicity who made his foray into sport at a tender age of 7-8 and took up to basketball a couple of years ago, is making his family, school, and the community proud with his passion for the sport. Nirmay Chavan, like any youngster of his age started initially by trying hands in cricket and football and finally settled for the sport he loved the most. Nirmay was born in Maharashtra in India and when he was eight, his family moved to New Zealand 7 years ago. Nirmay has a younger brother and says his parents, friends and his school have been very supportive of his passion for basketball. Nirmay had a special praise for his parents and said they always encouraged and supported him in whatever he wanted to do in his early years.
Ever since Nirmay fell in love with basketball, he has completely devoted himself to the sport and he regularly practices the basketball at least a couple of hours every day. His practice sessions stretch to 6-7 hours during holidays and school break time. Nirmay is currently a student of year 10 at Westlake Boys High School in Takapuna in North shore and he juggles his time between his passion and his studies, daily. Niramy says he is now in love with the game and wants to make a professional career in basketball. He says in the beginning his learning was mostly self-tutored and he would spend hours on the internet learning the nitty- gritty of the game. In the beginning he was playing the game only with his friends or classmates but ever since he developed liking for the sport, he joined basketball training facility- Hoop 33, situated at Wairau Valley. Nirmay now practices and gets coached there every day by some very competent coaches at the centre. Nirmay had a special mention of his coaches there namely Josh Kooiman, Zac Fitzgerald and Andrew McKay who have helped him shape and sharpen his skills in the sport.
As a 15-year-old, Nirmay is a very grounded, composed, and well-behaved person and he meditates and plays flute in his spare time. He now plays for West Lake Boys High School basketball team as point guard and shooting guard position. He says after playing for a while here and there and for the school team, he joined the training centre at Hoop-33 at Wairau Valley to learn sport professionally from the professional coaches. Like any youngster Nirmay also dreams and aspires big but he also understands the ground realities and his capacities. He says he hasn’t done anything for long and would switch over to something new every time, but things change once he developed his liking for basketball and has stayed there and growing ever since.
Nirmay says he understands the value of good academics, so he tries to balance his passion and the studies, so he doesn’t miss out on either. Apart from learning and practicing at Hoop-33, Nirmay also spends time at the gym under guidance of his trainer Logan McIntosh to keep him fit for the sport he is pursuing. Nirmay proudly remembers the game he played a couple of months ago for the North Harbour basketball club where he completely dominated the high scoring game. Nirmay has been selected for the school team, which is going to USA, the home of basketball, to learn the finer points about the game from the finest.
On being asked if he aspires to a part of the famous American NBA basketball team, Nirmay said he knows that requires the highest level of dedication and hard work and he is trying to do his best. He says he knows this is not a realistic goal for him because he is not a very tall person and not everyone can be part of NBA. Nirmay ended the conversation with a beautiful quote that says, ‘when you believe, unbelievable things happen’ and that ‘legend are not defined by their successes, but they are defined how they bounced back from their failures’
. -as told to Yugal Parashar