Athlete of the issue: Shriya Nagpal

January 6, 2011 — by Olivia Chock

In a game against Pioneer last year, then sophomore guard Shriya Nagpal dribbled down the court with 12 seconds left and the score tied at 52. She drove hard down the lane and shot over two defenders. Swish. She closed out the game with a steal and two free throws, leading the Falcons to a 56-52 victory, a moment she counts among her great achievements.

This year, Nagpal is captain of the varsity team she has played for since freshman year. Already in the current season, she has helped the team to victories over San Jose and Willow Glen High Schools.

Surprisingly, Nagpal’s starting career as a basketball athlete was mostly unintentional.

“I was just goofing off when I was in fourth grade, shooting hoops with my friend and her dad decided to sign me up for a basketball team,” Nagpal said.

Nagpal, a tough 5’4” shooting guard, is a powerhouse in her position; her jump shots combined with her driving ability establish her as a nightmare for any unlucky defenders.

Having to face close games and tough workouts quite often, Shriya takes an important lesson out of her love for the sport.

“There’s a lot of adversity in every single game, and a lot of pressure when it’s a close one to try your hardest to win the game,” Nagpal said. “Basketball is sort of like life.”

Nagpal hopes to pursue a college basketball career in a Division 2 or 3 school.

“Playing Division 1 basketball takes over your life,” Nagpal said. “I still want to focus on school and be able to have other activities in college.”

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