Indian-American appointed basketball coach to the NBA team Memphis Grizzlies

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The NBA team Memphis Grizzlies posted the picture of their new assistant coach Sonia Raman with a welcome message on Instagram

Described as “MIT’s all-time winningest coach,” Sonia Raman, possibly one of very few Indian American basketball coaches at a major institution, was just appointed assistant coach to the Memphis Grizzlies, (@memgrizz) who tweeted Sept. 11, 2020 – “JUST ANNOUNCED: We’ve hired Sonia Raman as an assistant coach.”

The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team which competes in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Western Conference Southwest Division league.

Raman has a storied and highly successful career twelve years into coaching. She was the 2016 and 2017 NEWMAC (New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference) Coach of the Year. The team she coached at MIT were NEWMAC Champions in 2018 and 2019, the first in program history, and she guided MIT to its third straight title game in 2020, the Grizzlies press release says

The Memphis Grizzlies announcing the new recruit, noted her winning career.

“We are beyond excited to welcome Sonia to the Memphis Grizzlies,” Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins is quoted saying in the announcement posted on the NBA website. “She has a high basketball IQ and a tremendous ability to teach the game, as well as a strong passion for the game. She is going to be a great addition to our current coaching staff.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff. I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started with Taylor, his staff and the team’s emerging young core,” Raman said. “I must also give a truly special thank you to MIT and the women I’ve had the honor of coaching for the past 12 years. I wish the program continued success.”

Raman’s tenure also produced two NCAA Tournament berths for the program, while the Engineers compiled a 91-45 record (.669) in her final five seasons. Following her first season in 2008-09, MIT’s record improved in each of the next five seasons. Eighteen of Raman’s student-athletes earned NEWMAC All-Conference accolades, including four Rookie of the Year awards. She also had four seniors selected to participate in the New England Women’s Basketball Association Senior Classic.

In September 2017, Raman was selected to serve a two-year term 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.

Prior to her arrival in Cambridge, Raman was the top assistant coach at Wellesley College. During her six-year tenure, she scouted opponents, assisted with practice and game planning, managed individual player skill and leadership development, and served as the Blue’s primary recruiter.

“She has a high basketball IQ and a tremendous ability to teach the game, as well as a strong passion for the game. She is going to be a great addition to our current coaching staff,” Jenkins went on to say.

Raman began her intercollegiate coaching career with a two-year stint as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Tufts University. A four-year player and a captain for the Jumbos, she graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations.

In addition, Raman went on to receive a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 2001.

According to in.nba.com, Raman becomes the 14th female assistant coach in the history of NBA.

According to MIT, 18 of Raman’s student-athletes have earned NEWMAC All-Conference accolades, including four Rookie of the Year awards. She has also had four seniors selected to participate in the New England Women’s Basketball Association Senior Classic.

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