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Hyderabad Sky’s star player Mahesh Padmanabhan assures he will be back with a bang next season

Mahesh Padmanabhan looked up to Pete Sampras during his tennis days.

Mahesh Padmanabhan
Mahesh Padmanabhan is also adept at playing tennis

Although his team, the Hyderabad Sky, is out of the UBA Pro Basketball League Season-3, Mahesh Padmanabhan, 28, is not yet down and out. Sportskeeda caught up with Mahesh after Hyderabad was knocked out of the tournament by Punjab Steelers. “It’s great to be playing the knockout round. You either make it or you don’t. It’s always a thrill,” said a dejected Mahesh. Well, his job does not end here. He would watch the match tape, analyse it, and get ready for the next tournament.

A player of Indian origin and brought up in Australia, Mahesh’s life has always revolved around the realm of sports. A tennis player turned professional basketball player, Mahesh has picked up several qualities from the former sport that has helped him to be a better shooter.

Originally from Chennai, his parents moved to Sydney in 1985 and three years later a sports star was born. “I started playing tennis at an early age. Growing up I was a very competitive tennis player. Soon, during my schooling days, I was drawn towards the game of basketball and since then I am in love with this game. The NBA and NBL-Australia is what got me hooked to this game. Slowly, I started getting over tennis. And now I am here playing basketball professionally,” informs Mahesh of what got him inclined towards basketball.

He played competitive tennis till the age of 18 and after that, it has always been basketball. Networking surely helped Mahesh get into basketball professionally. UBA Pro Basketball League has been a path breaker from him.

Tennis is his first love and will always be special and close to Mahesh’s heart. So what about tennis does he like the most? “Team sports surely have their positives. But individual sport makes you tough. I love the mental battle one has to go through while playing tennis. It makes you stronger as a person. It has helped me push through all the barriers,” explains Mahesh, who played for the club Northern Suburbs Basketball Association in Sydney.

As a tennis player, his footwork and forehand were his forte. Growing up, Mahesh was highly inspired by American and former World No. 1 tennis player Pete Sampras. While from the current generation, Spaniard Rafael Nadal certainly pushes him to perform better. During his schooling days, Mahesh also ventured the world of athletics, volleyball and soccer. 

The professional basketball player owes his success to his parents who always supported him through his thick and thin. He also has a degree in finance and physiotherapy. Mahesh, who recently got married to his college sweetheart Nidhi, says, “My family is my back bone. Whatever I am right now is because of them.”

This is Mahesh’s second season with the UBA Pro Basketball League. This season, in his last match against Punjab Stellers, Mahesh scored a career high of 33 points. “It is always a great experience coming back to my country and playing the game that really matters to me. The game is developed exponentially, right from the infrastructure to players and coaches. This year, the curtains fell down early for Hyderabad. We will surely come back with a bang next year,” he signs off. 

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