Vishmi Fernando’s Passion for B-Ball
By Radha Wimalawansa
Basketball is a game loved by many, especially youngsters. Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry are some talented, all-time favourite basketball personalities who inspire many young players. Vishmi Fernando, an 18 year-old from Holy Family Convent, is one such teen basketball player who draws inspiration from Kyrie and Stephen.
Being the school’s Game Captain for years 2019/20, Vishmi was the Vice Captain of the school’s under 19 basketball team. As a basketball player representing Holy Family Convent, she’s been part of the school team’s championship win at the All-Island Inter-School U-19 Basketball Championship as well as the team’s runners-up win at the National Schools U-20 Basketball Tournament. Vishmi was once awarded Western Province Colours and she was also a member of the national 3x3 pool for years 2018/19.
Hi Vishmi! How are things these days?
With all the unfortunate things happening around the world these days, I’m trying to focus on the positives. Our school sports meet was last month. I’ve missed quite a lot of my studies because of it. So these days I am trying to catch up on the areas I’ve missed and I am trying to get back on track. In the meantime, I am also focusing on my sport. I am working on my techniques and keeping tabs on my physical fitness. Apart from sports, I’m working on my painting and sketching too.
I heard that your sister was also a basketball player. How did that influence you?
My sister was my biggest inspiration I could say. When I was small, my sister played for the school basketball team. I used to sit near the court and watch her play until my mother came to pick me up. But then my mom realized that it’s a waste of time for me to just sit there, so she forced me into joining practices. Not long after, I developed a big interest in the sport and since then I’ve always made sure to never miss practices. On days we don’t have practices, my sister and I play together at home.
How’s you experience so far as Games Captain?
So when I got to know that I’ve been selected as the new Games Captain, I was really pumped up. I wanted to do something new, not just with sports, but with other curricular activities too. Amidst all that excitement and ambitiousness, I realized with time, that being Games Captain is definitely harder than what I had pictured in my head.
And so… my first big event came along. It had been my dream ever since I was a kid to organize our school sports meet. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but with the support I had from my family, our principal, our teachers, my best friends and the rest of my guild, it turned out to be a big success.
Do you have any basketball memories that you treasure? We would love to hear about them!
I love all the matches I’ve played, and they are all memorable ones. But there are some matches that are extra-special to me. My very first match as a basketball player is indeed a memorable one. I remember how I was feeling that day. I was super excited and I was feeling extremely proud about myself. And then, there is this other match as well. That’s the under 15 Zonal Tournament which was my first tournament as captain. I remember watching two other schools play, thinking to myself, "Wow! This is going to be really hard.” And then I thought that if I can get my team together and work hard, we’d be able to put up a good game. And we did! We did put up a good game. We won all the matches and made it to the finals.
Basketball isn’t after all an individual game. It is a team game. It’s the team that makes a player great. Vishmi, as a basketball player herself, owes a great deal to her team. “To be honest, the only thing that makes me wake up at 5 every morning is my team,” says Vishmi, giving due credit to all her teammates for being supportive of her journey all throughout. “I’m very lucky to have a talented as well as a crazy team that I could call family,” concluded Vishmi.