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

“I don’t have these thick folders on every team in the N.B.A. like I did in the N.E.W.M.A.C.,” she mentioned, referring, in fact, to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.

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

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls from coaches who are just like: ‘How did this happen? How’d she wow them?’” Robinson-Griggs mentioned. “And a lot of it was just Sonia being Sonia. The idea of being a student of the game gets thrown around a lot, but that’s Sonia and everything that she embodies.”

Growing up in Framingham, Mass., Raman liked basketball. She rooted for the Boston Celtics. She performed with her mates. Her mother and father, each laptop programmers, supported her curiosity in sports activities, she mentioned. She went on to play school basketball at Tufts, where she got here off the bench as a high-energy guard.

“I was not very good,” she mentioned. “I just worked hard and tried to be a good teammate.”

After graduating from Boston College Law School, Raman labored for the federal Labor Department and later for an funding agency, within the threat and compliance division. She had solely not too long ago began that job when Kathy Hagerstrom, who was then the basketball coach at Wellesley College, requested if Raman can be excited about volunteering as an assistant.

“I always knew that I was going to find a way to coach,” Raman mentioned. “It just wasn’t a part of my life plan to make it career. I thought it would be something that I did after work, or on weekends — maybe coach a youth team.”

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

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