"I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started"
Sonia Raman is the first Indian-American female coach to join an NBA team after the Memphis Grizzlies hired her.
Sonia joins the team as an assistant coach, replacing Niele Ivey. She will join head coach Taylor Jenkins’ staff on November 1, 2020.
The Memphis Grizzlies narrowly missed making the playoffs in the 2019-20 season.
Following her appointment, Sonia becomes the 14th female assistant coach in the history of the NBA and the seventh to have been hired as an assistant in the league since the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
She also becomes the fourth Indian-origin person to work as a coach in the NBA, joining Vin Bhavnani (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Roy Rana (Sacramento Kings) as well as fitness coach Adi Vase (Golden State Warriors).
Prior to joining the NBA team, Sonia spent 12 successful seasons as the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
During her time there, she took the team to the NCAA Tournament twice and was also voted coach of the year in her region.
The Engineers went 91-45 over her final five seasons.
Eighteen of Sonia’s players have earned New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference accolades, including four Rookie of the Year honours.
Sonia said: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff.
“I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started with Taylor, his staff and the team’s emerging young core.”
She also thanked MIT: “I must also give a truly special thank you to MIT and the women I’ve had the honour of coaching for the past 12 years. I wish the program continued success.”
Sonia Raman graduated from Tufts University, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations.
She was a player for her university for four years and was their captain before beginning her intercollegiate coaching career with them, spending two years as an assistant coach.
Sonia then went to Wellesley College and spent six years there as the top assistant coach.
During her time there, she scouted opponents, helped with practice and game planning, managed individual player skill and leadership development, and served as the Blue’s primary recruiter.
Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said of Sonia’s appointment:
“She has a high basketball IQ and a tremendous ability to teach the game as well as a strong passion for the game.”
“She is going to be a great addition to our current coaching staff.”
In addition to being a basketball coach, Sonia Raman also serves as an ambassador in the Massachusetts area.
In September 2017, she was chosen to serve on the Coaches Council for the Alliance of Women Coaches, which aims to empower women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources, events and programs which address the needs and interests of its members.