Getting Fired Up for Tuesday Basketball

Published on November 01, 2017


Vinith Johnson, a research specialist at the Neuroscape neuroscience center at UCSF Mission Bay, looks forward to joining his professors, colleagues, other researchers, and security guards from his center every Tuesday for a game of pickup basketball at Bakar.

Vinith said professors, researchers and students appreciate that they can leave their lab, walk across the quad, and be running up and down the basketball courts at Bakar within five minutes.

“If you are having a long day and working with complicated stats and data, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a world-class gym next door.”

Tuesday basketball was also a way for Vinith to connect with his lab. When he arrived at UCSF as a visiting scholar last summer, it was the first time he had left India. “It was my first time abroad. I was in a different environment with no family or friends.” Basketball helped Vinith break the ice with his new colleagues. “I was able to understand their interests and connect with them better.”

The games can get a little intense. Recently, Vinith broke his wrist diving for a ball during a pickup game. “I was trying to intercept a wide pass from a teammate and collided with another person and fell on my wrist.”

Thankfully for Vinith, he has the fitness center as a place to do his rehab exercises while his wrist is healing. “It has everything you need,” he said. Vinith even runs into his physical therapist, also a member, at the fitness center. “He asks me how my rehab is going. You want to rehabilitate faster when you have the right kind of people around you.”