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Introducing Our New Writer of OPP: Ajeeta Khanna


I've been pushing off this introduction like no other, so I want to apologize to you dear OPP readers for my procrastination. I knew I should have written this up before summer league started, but I'd argue and say writing about oneself is an arduous task.

For those of you who haven't figured out already, my name is Ajeeta (no silent J, pronounced the way it appears). I know, I have a rather unusual name. It actually originates from the Indian language Sanskrit meaning invincible.

I was born in the city of Guelph, which is roughly an hour away from Toronto. My family and I lived there for two years and then moved to Orlando.

Fun fact: I am still a Canadian citizen to this day, like rookie power forward Andrew Nicholson. Oh, and for the record, I am not a Raptors fan; my apologies, Tas Melas.

First off, I'd like to thank my older brother who almost exactly 9 years older than I am for getting me into sports.

He actually played hockey, basketball, baseball, football, and soccer. I'd end up watching him play alongside his friends while I sat there seething with jealousy simply because I simply wanted to participate.

Of course, he didn't allow me mostly because I was young (try 5-years old), which in turn made me cry notoriously, kick fences and scream, "I want to play too!" I'm sure my mother would have been disappointed in my brother if I returned home with cuts and bruises from playing (although I'm sure she was more disappointed in my public display of violent temper tantrums).

A few years later, I took part in figure skating and looked up to figure skater Michelle Kwan. Sadly, the local ice-skating rink went out of business and my dreams shattered on thin ice.

So my mother then enrolled me to play tennis - honestly, it's not uncommon for Indian parents to send their kids off to tennis camps. What's up, Leander Paes?!

High school rolled around the corner and that's when I separated myself from sports as I had kept one goal in mind: become a doctor.

Like I made the hasty decision to declare my major in microbiology. It was smooth-sailing for the first two years. I took my first medical school level course at UCF during my junior year - clinical neuroanatomy to be specific - and failed it. Miserably. My desires to become a doctor burned ever so quickly. Overall, I didn't want to impress my parents, I wanted to impress myself so I chose journalism and now minoring in environmental science.

A few close friends had even asked, "Why would you even go to medical school? I just can't even see you as a doctor because half the time you're rambling about something in the sports world."

The funny thing is I've always had a passion to write. At one point, I even had a wish to write for medical journals and magazines after I complete medical school, residency and fellowships. But it dawned upon me that my strengths lied elsewhere - far from the medical field.

Had it not been for that, I probably wouldn't have reported for Central Florida Future last year covering the UCF men's and women's basketball teams.

One day I want to be on ESPN as a panelist or a television reporter next to all of the other ESPN panelists. I look up to Kevin Negandhi, Jemele Hill and J.A. Adande as my idols.

Sometimes they say follow the stars and your dreams will come true if you pick the right poison.

And because I'm here to gain more experience, I can't thank Mr. Evan Dunlap enough for granting me this opportunity to report on the Orlando Magic.

So hello to all, I look forward to writing for OPP.

P.S. You can follow me on Twitter as well.