Image Credits: Ankit
There are a lot of very talented hoopers in Gujarat. One to keep an eye on Swarnim Gujarat Sports University’s point guard Ankit Aswal. He impressed since his stellar performance last year. Ankit is playing key minutes and has shown a high ceiling. He’s versatile with a nice mid range game.
We caught up with Ankit Aswal to talk about his game, his key to success and more.
At what age did you start in Basketball?
I was very much into sports from a very young age and I used to participate in all the sports activities at school. Later on, I found Basketball very intriguing and selected to represent the school team at 11th standard. That was my biggest source of motivation. I came across a lot of Senior players. I admired them and aspired to become like them. I started preparing myself for it. My family has rendered their never-ending support and I received a lot of encouragement from the people around me and all of it wanted me to do better and reach higher levels.
Since most of the basketball players tall - do you see your size as an advantage or disadvantage on the court?
Height doesn't matter in basketball everyone has their own specialities like even if you are small you can play better defense, you can dribble, pass – do everything.
Do you have a favorite college or NBA player that you like to watch?
I love watching LeBron James play. His all around game on the offensive end, is incredible. Many plays he makes I’m just like how did he just do that? He is so great at handling the ball and his shot is so quick that he can create for himself and others whenever he wants. I try to learn from him all the time by watching certain things he does and how he enjoys the game while he is doing so.
Who is the toughest player you’ve ever matched up with?
I am not sure in terms of opponent, but the toughest is Virendra Sekhawat (Veeru bhaiya). He is strong, have a good-reading of the game that makes it extremely hard to get an edge.
What position do you play on the team? What are some challenges that you have faced?
I can guard my position and shoot, I can guard multiple positions, and I can make plays for my teammates and I can score the ball like they already know. Just continuing to do what I do, and continue to put in the work. I think it’s easier to make plays than to do it myself at some points.
In terms of challenges, a lot of that is through work and effort. It’s a lot of technical stuff that goes into game. A lot of knowledge things like being in the right spots, learning how to properly guard ball screens. So it’s learning how to do that. Learning a few techniques, doing it the right way is the key.
What is your pregame ritual on game day?
Nothing special I just love to listen motivational music and talk to all my teammates.
Who is your team’s biggest rival in basketball and what makes that rivalry special?
Not really a rival, but playing against Islamia Jamia University always be the toughest and their coordination is very good and they will play very hard game on the court.
At this point in your basketball life what has been the most memorable moment, or moments?
I didn't play that much of tournament so I can't tell any memorable moment but I have just one thing to say that I love Basketball. I started playing basketball because I think that I can do better in this sport and I really love to playing this sport whenever I grab the ball in my hands I didn’t know how to say it but I forgot all the things and I am getting more focused about my dreams and only one thing comes in my mind that is "chase your dreams no matter how tough that is".
Favorite off court activity?
I love to read motivational books and travel
Which is your favorite social media?
You’re still at a very early stage of your career. What kinds of things are you doing to make yourself the best player you can be?
I worked on my handles and i always keep working on my weaknesses.
What's your top five favorite basketball moves to do or that you just generally like?
My biggest strengths are my speed, finish a layup over big players and scoring 3 pointers on the court. I am very quick and I am able to transfer that track speed onto the court, resulting in combo moves, steals and fastbreaks. I am also very good at listening to and applying what my coach is saying. I’ve always been able to hear what my coach is saying and produce the results he wants and expects from me.
5-on-5 full-courts, 3-0n-3 half-courts, 1-on-1 around a single:
It’s pretty difficult to choose one as I love to play them all.
What is one piece of advice that has helped you get through the challenges you have faced?
I didn't have much experience of playing. I want to play for my country and I try to give my 100% every day and my personal motivation is my parents because of them I am playing. My parents has been my pillars – guiding me through every step and each level. And it’s my have one responsibility that I'll make them proud one day.
What are your personal goals this season?
My personal goals is to improve my game, be efficient with my shooting, and be a threat to every team that I will play.