January 31, 2014

Raghavan a bright spot for EV

Kevin McCarthy

After low double figures scoring plus a tidy 45 treys as a junior, 5-foot-6 Annanya Raghavan is back running the point for Evergreen Valley High in San Jose and currently averaging 19 points a contest in league while nabbing eight rebounds and passing for five assists an outing.

photo of  Annanya Raghavan

But it's not point totals that impress her -- “I love to pass rather than shoot.” In fact, she sees her best skill as “my court vision. Seeing the floor is something natural for me.”

Two particular matchups, back to back ones, stand out for Raghavan this season and illustrate her story.

Against Santa Cruz High, she put together a line of 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 70-55 win as Evergreen Valley used an 18-7 fourth quarter to put the game away. What excited her? “I got to serve and get my teammates involved.”

Then versus Palo Alto High, Raghavan was double teamed and face guarded, leading to a three point first half next to her name. She finished with 26 points plus 12 rebounds even though the Cougars fell 59-55.

Here's Bobby Bramlett, one of her West Valley Basketball Club coaches: “Annanya is without a doubt one of the smartest point guards I have ever coached. She is currently hearing from schools out of the American East, as well as some local interest, which is why she has elected to wait before committing. She is scheduled so far for her second visit, an official in late March. The reason we have supported her patience is because schools will always be in need for a quality point guard who has the level of intelligence, skill and vision that she has. Most coaches teach to her level -- she started there. She is ‘The Natural”.”

Former Cal great Al Grigsby, also coaches Raghavan with West Valley and he offered: “Annanya is a very intelligent woman with a very knowledgeable understanding of the game. She's always been talented and skilled but needed to grow into what kind of player she could be. She wanted to take on responsibility and developed the identity of not being afraid to be great.”

Her extended family has a long association with cricket and other sports were tested out -- “I tried baseball and golf” -- but being on the basketball court won out.

Her father recalled exposing Annanya and her brother to the sport of golf. However, a funny thing happened.

“Next thing you know they're out front shooting hoops.”

According to Raghavan, “Being on a team and working with others appeals to me. I like the bonding and the chemistry.”

She also willingly credits those who have aided her along the way.

“I'm really lucky to have coaches with my interests in mind in keeping my journey going in basketball.”

On the academic side, there will be no concerns in making the jump to the next level.

“I want to major in bio chemistry because I want to be a doctor.” Three AP courses graced her schedule last semester, with three more this semester. One of those, a chemistry class proved enthralling. “I fell in love with the subject.”

Raghavan sports a 4.1 grade point average and, in an antithesis to many, said “I really like math and numbers.”

Her college recruitment is starting to pick up but she has no favorites as yet. “For now I'm keeping my options open” but says she has a sweet spot for southern California in particular.

Check back in a while because it sure seems that there is a coach-to-be in the incubator here.