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How do you strike a balance between sports and studies? Q&A with NCR topper and student-athlete Achintya Krishna

NCR topper and point guard for the NBA Academy, Achintya Krishna talks about how he brings focus and discipline into his performance on and off the court.
BY Anandamayee Singh |   29-05-2019

Achintya Krishna
NBA Academy India - Achintya Krishna

16-year old Achintya Krishna is a star athlete and a topper in the NCR region. Originally from Bangalore, Krishna moved to Noida in 2017 as a recruit of the NBA Academy. The NBA Academy was launched in 2016, building on the NBA league’s global outreach and recruitment program Basketball Without Borders. It consists of basketball training centres, open to players of ages 6-18. Each centre is staffed with NBA-trained coaches that help improve the health, athleticism, and academic performances of the student athletes. Krishna plays in the position of point-guard, and has travelled to Germany, Spain, Australia and the U.S. for tournaments and exhibition matches with other academy players. When he’s not scoring baskets or marks, Krishna loves sleeping and playing on the PS4. BrainGain Magazine spoke to him about his journey so far, and how he juggles academics and basketball.

Below are edited excerpts:

Please tell us about the NBA Academy. How did you become a part of it?
I was introduced to basketball by my coach in school. After playing the U-13 nationals, I was called for a national try-out at the NBA Academy India in Greater Noida and I was selected.

NBA Academy India stays true to its commitment of imparting education and world class training.It is a perfect mix of work and play. NBA legends such as Brook Lopez, Kevin Martin, Robert Horry have visited the Academy and shared their experiences. Their visits help boost our confidence and makes us want to achieve more.

What does it take to be an NCR topper as well as an excellent basketball player?
Closer to my class 10th CBSE Board exams in the month of February, I religiously dedicated six hours to my books and continued training for three hours a day. In my opinion, marks depend on how familiar you are with the syllabus and how many hours a day are spent practicing what you truly enjoy. The Academy has been supportive throughout and has taught us how to manage our time effectively. At the end of the day, it’s all about setting your goal and working hard towards achieving it.

Do you think actively pursuing your hobbies and/or sports helps with studies?
Balancing both sports and academics is not that tough if you’re determined and know how to manage your time and remove distractions.I believe pursuing your hobby is important. Playing basketball helps me unwind and helps relieves stress.

As a basketball player, you get to travel a lot to play in matches around the world. How do you think travelling has shaped your approach to your sport, your academics and life in general?
Being a good student-athlete has given me various opportunities to play matches around the world. Travelling across the globe gives me opportunities to interact with various coaches and athletes from different cultures. It also helps concentrate better on academics and helps in my overall development as an independent and confident person.

What is it like being part of the NBA academy, sharing space with so many other young athletes? What do you and your fellow academy members do in your free time?
The NBA Academy India has helped me grow tremendously. Not only has the Academy helped me become a better athlete but also enhanced my personality, making me more confident.

At the Academy, we maintain a strict training and education schedule throughout the year. We are not a team, but a family. Apart from training and playing basketball we also play the PS4 in our free time.

Do you have any tips for students and aspiring athletes on how to tackle the pressure of exams and professional level sports?
I have always believed that ‘if you want it you can.’ Maintaining a balance between academics and sports is very important. At the NBA Academy, our coaches train us to get better at the sport and help us prioritise our time. At the end of the day, when you know exactly what you have to do, it gets easier to focus and work hard towards achieving it. It’s very important to have your family, coaches and friends support you at every stage. 

What are your plans for the future?
I am trying my best to get the Division I Scholarship in the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States so that I can continue playing basketball. I hope I get admission in a reputed college there. I also want to represent India at various levels and help the culture of basketball grow in India.

Related Stories:
The linkages between sports, education and life skills
How and why you should embrace extracurricular activities
What does it take to be a topper? Q&A with Shivang Singh



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