In A First, Indian-American Woman Appointed as Assistant NBA Coach

Tara Bahl
·2-min read

The Memphis Grizzlies have hired Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sonia Raman as an assistant coach. This makes Raman the first Indian-American woman to be appointed in the position of a National Basketball Association (NBA) team.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff,” Raman said in a statement.

“I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started with Taylor (Taylor Jenkins, head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies), his staff and the team’s emerging young core,” she said.

“I must also give a truly special thank you to MIT and the women I’ve had the honour of coaching for the past 12 years. I wish the program continued success.”

Raman will start her new job on 1 November and will join five other assistant coaches for the Memphis Grizzlies – Brad Jones, Neven Spahija, Vitaly Potapenko, David McClure and Scoonie Penn.

Previsouly, Raman served as MIT’s head Engineers’ women’s basketball program coach for 12 seasons.

"The 2016 and 2017 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Sonia Raman is MIT’s all-time winningest coach" states the MIT website.

"“She has a high basketball IQ and a tremendous ability to teach the game, as well as a strong passion for the game,”" - Taylor Jenkins, head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies, in a press release.

"In September 2017, Raman was selected to serve on the Coaches Council for the Alliance of Women Coaches. The Alliance of Women Coaches is dedicated to leading the field of women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources, events and programs which address the needs and interests of its members", states the MIT website.

"The Coaches Council is a sounding board for the Executive Director to ensure that the Alliance is thoughtfully and strategically serving women coaches from all sports and all levels. Additionally, members serve as ambassadors for the Alliance in their respective coaching communities and networks."

In her spare time, Raman "serves on the advisory board for Find the Courage, a nonprofit organization that inspires, educates and empowers young people to be positive leaders promoting kindness, inclusion, encouragement, compassion, respect and resiliency in their communities", says her profile on the MIT website.

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