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She Thought the Grizzlies Wanted Hiring Advice. They Wanted Her.

“I don’t have these thick folders on each crew within the N.B.A. like I did within the N.E.W.M.A.C.,” she mentioned, referring, in fact, to the New England Ladies’s and Males’s Athletic Convention.

Lucia Robinson-Griggs, the Vassar College coach who was a longtime assistant underneath Raman, mentioned she had already felt the consequences of Raman’s soar to the N.B.A.

“I’ve gotten lots of calls from coaches who’re similar to: ‘How did this occur? How’d she wow them?’” Robinson-Griggs mentioned. “And lots of it was simply Sonia being Sonia. The thought of being a pupil of the sport will get thrown round rather a lot, however that’s Sonia and all the things that she embodies.”

Rising up in Framingham, Mass., Raman beloved basketball. She rooted for the Boston Celtics. She performed together with her associates. Her dad and mom, each pc programmers, supported her curiosity in sports activities, she mentioned. She went on to play faculty basketball at Tufts, the place she got here off the bench as a high-energy guard.

“I used to be not superb,” she mentioned. “I simply labored onerous and tried to be a great teammate.”

After graduating from Boston School Regulation Faculty, Raman labored for the federal Labor Division and later for an funding agency, within the danger and compliance division. She had solely lately began that job when Kathy Hagerstrom, who was then the basketball coach at Wellesley School, requested if Raman could be inquisitive about volunteering as an assistant.

“I at all times knew that I used to be going to discover a strategy to coach,” Raman mentioned. “It simply wasn’t part of my life plan to make it profession. I assumed it will be one thing that I did after work, or on weekends — possibly coach a youth crew.”

For six seasons, Raman stored her day job as a lawyer whereas moonlighting as one among Hagerstrom’s assistants. Raman lastly left the regulation behind in 2008, when she went to M.I.T.

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