When she started club ball at the age of 9, shooting wasn’t an asset in Phoenix St. Mary’s senior guard Shilpa Tummala’s repertoire.
"I could not make free throws. I could not make short jumpers," she said. "I couldn’t make anything if my life depended on it."
But it wasn’t long before that weakness morphed in to a strength for Tummala. She spent hours in the gym, after school and on weekends, working with her dad, Chandram, to improve and eventually perfect her shot. Eight years later, Tummala is considered to have one of the better shots in not only the state but the country.
"It was a lot of work," she said. "I committed the majority of my life — and I’m only 17 years old — but the majority of my life I’ve been living for basketball."