Basketball starts small, turns into passion for Agarwal


Neveah Jones

Coppell freshman Ryan Agarwal keeps an eye on the ball on Tuesday Jan 22 at CHS arena. The Coppell Cowboys lost to the Lewisville Farmers 71-57.

Neha Desaraju, Staff Writer

He is the youngest on the team, but at 6 feet 4 inches, one of the tallest.


Coppell High School freshman Ryan Agarwal fits right in with the juniors, seniors and one sophomore on the boys basketball varsity team. In fact, the older players have allowed him a space to get better as an athlete.


“They pretty much all impact me a lot,” Agarwal said. “Every single one of them have an impact on me, big and small.”


It is not just the players, though, and Agarwal does not fail to mention his coaches, whom he names some of his top influences.


“[CHS coach Clint Schnell] pushes me hard, he really helps me out,” Agarwal said. “If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today. All my coaches help me out through talking about their years and what they know.”


Aside from basketball, Agarwal’s time is mostly occupied by school. From a few hours every morning and every evening, Agarwal’s life revolves around playing basketball. Whenever he’s not doing that, he’s doing homework.


In second grade, his parents put Agarwal in every single YMCA sport. Basketball is just the one that stuck, but it wasn’t until middle school that he really became passionate about the sport. That was when he first started playing for an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball club, a national youth sports organization. Now, he finds basketball takes up most of his free hours.


“Whenever he needs to relax or wants to do something he’ll go and play basketball,” junior Rashi Agarwal, Agarwal’s cousin, said.


It is this passion that drives the determination Agarwal has for the sport, which he says is one of his defining qualities.


“He’s shown himself to be a hard worker, passionate about the game of basketball, supportive of his teammates and just has a real job to be successful,” Schnell said.


Schnell knew from the moment he saw Agarwal that he was varsity material.


“You could just kind of tell when you first met Ryan,” Schnell said. “He has this confidence about himself and assurance of who he is. It spills over the way he plays on the court and how he conducts himself off the court.”


Agarwal thinks of himself as more than just a player, though. No Indian has played in an NBA game before (other than Sim Bhullar, who played for Canada and is the only player of Indian origin to play an in NBA game), and Agarwal wants to break the stereotype against Indians playing sports.


“A lot of times people think, you know, just because I’m an Indian, I’m not athletic,” Agarwal said. “But I’m a lot more than that.”