Exclusive: How WNBA Prodigy Ann Mary Went From Kerala To Colorado
Ann Mary Zachariah has been playing basketball in the United States since the start of 2020 when she committed to Life Prep Academy in Wichita, Kansas
Ann Mary Zachariah - a future WNBA prodigy, looked up to her parents who were former international hoopers and just followed the path of basketball from her childhood. The 6-foot-2 baller started playing at the age of 10 and from then just fell in love with the game.
Recently in a interaction with a ZeeNewsEnglish Journalist, Ann opened up about her journey of becoming an athelete at such an young age and the difficulties she faced up until now. Ann also revealed her idols and how she comesback with motivation after failures in her career.
How it all started for Ann?
"I started playing like age of 10 and I followed my parents back then, and because they were the former basketball players at international level. So I just followed them and fell in love playing basketball when I was kid, just hooping like shooting and everything. After that I just how love with those game and up I mean, after that I I really got a chance to play with a lot of seniors players and coaches and I just loved that.
"I participated in the Junior Nba but I never thought about basketball like to play outside, and I just thought I just want to play for an Indian team, and never thought about Dublin via playing in in college level. And after, when in the program came to envy, I mean in India."
"So I just love with this game, I mean when the coaches say so about the division. One college here in the U.S.A. Of Why not? Indian player can play that. So I just felt that it was a challenging for me to come. India to U.S.A. So it was hard, and but still I had a lot of people that supported me, even my family coaches."
Ann's Ultimate GOAT
It's Michael Jordan and Candace Parker and of the WNba. Yeah, of course, I just see herself, and myself the same like the way she plays it's like great. I can compare to my game, too. and I could learn a lot of things from like on and off the court. Y
Ann's view on Mamba
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest atheletes to ever play the game of basketball. Almost every youngster growing up nowadays looks up to the Mamba and mentality.
"Yes, I've seen this gain like on the video, like I've seen a lot of motivation videos. The way he says it's just giving me the the passion of basket was just growing. I mean walking out early in the morning, like for 5 or 6 hrs. It's really challenging for me because I really love playing basketball and never skip practices"
It's always difficult for Indians to compete against the fast and atheletic USA players, so we asked Ann how is she working out on that. Here's her reply:45
"Yes, I did. I struggle when I came to for the my first year in America I struggled a lot, because obviously the speed and my height. I mean I didn't have. I mean I had tied, but I didn't have the speed of the physical to play against American players."
"After 2 years of high school, I used to play in high school in America and playing in college for one year here. And yeah, it was loadable easy because for 2 years I was just working on my game and speed my strength. Yeah, I was playing. It was fun playing. Yeah, I'm. But still out i'll face a lot of struggle playing against this players."
Ann Mary was a part of the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program, a comprehensive youth development initiative that aims to develop basketball at the grassroots level and commitment towards the holistic growth of children through active participation in sports. In 2015, Ann Mary was identified as a top prospect, a critical juncture in her sporting career. Since its inception, Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Program has reached more than 11 million youngsters from 13,000 schools across 34 cities and has trained close to 15,000 physical education instructors nationwide.
Ann Mary then participated in three NBA-led basketball development programs before playing stateside. She has been playing basketball in the United States since the start of 2020 when she committed to Life Prep Academy in Wichita, Kansas. Thereafter, she joined Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas.
While at Howard Junior, Ann Mary averaged 15.4 points per game in her first collegiate season while shooting 40.2 percent and pulling down 10.4 rebounds per contest. She also recorded nine games with 20+ points, including a career-high 37 on 14-for-22 shooting. With her dominating performances on the court, she was named the WJCAC Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Year and to the All-Conference Team.
In 2018, Ann Mary participated in Basketball Without Borders Asia and has participated in multiple NBA Academy Women’s Program camps in India from 2017-2019. In one of these camps, she won the Coaches Award. She also represented India in two junior FIBA tournaments - U16 Women's Asian Championship 2017 and U18 Women's Asian Championship 2018, and was a participant in the NCAA’s Next Generation program at the Women’s Final Four in Tampa.