India’s tallest basketball star, 18, to take a break for brain tumour treatment

Published: March 13, 2014
Indian basketball player

Indian basketball player Poonam Chaturvedi. Facebook

VANCOUVER DESI

India’s tallest female basketball player — standing at 6-foot-11 at just 18 years old — is stepping out of the game to battle a brain tumour, according to the Indian Express.

Poonam Chaturvedi, born and raised in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, plays in India’s national league for the eastern state of Chhattisgarh.

Her latest victory came just last week when she helped lead her team to victory at the national championships, handing the Indian Railways its first defeat in 12 years.

Chaturvedi has suffered from various medical issues throughout her life, according to DNA India.

Born with a malformed upper lip, she couldn’t even speak as a child, so she went through a number of surgeries and still awaits one more.

But it wasn’t until recently that she found out the headaches she often suffers were due to a “mild form” of brain tumour, the Indian Express reported.

According to Chaturvedi’s family, they’re considering treatment in Delhi or Bangalore, as the former location has a new radiation machine that could greatly help the young athlete.

According to the Indian Express, the Basketball Federation of India has committed to paying Chaturvedi’s medical expenses throughout her treatment.

As for Chaturvedi, she just hopes she can get through treatment quickly and take as little time away from the game as possible.

“I wish it would get over and I could return to playing without fear,” she told the Indian Express. “My father says it is curable and I am looking forward to returning to the sport fit and healthy,”

“When I’m not in pain, basketball is my life. Otherwise it’s very bad.”

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