In twenty years time, when the new Basketball star, straightens her hijab up and laces those trainers up just before she steps on to the court, she may well have forgotten what it took to get here. It almost seems ludicrous that it took so long to define how a hijab could be worn on the court and that dreams were blocked and Muslim women unable to play Basketball. Amaliah asked Asma a few questions to understand some of the qualities behind one of the women who changed history for us and those little dreamers.
“What kept me going was knowing that a positive outcome would change history. It would open up doors for the younger generations and allow them to fulfil their dreams of making it to the pros.”
“The message I would give any young girl is to dream big. Don’t ever think your hijab is a barrier to achieving your goals. You may have to work harder to be noticed and to get your voice heard. But when you posses the right attitude and just keep going eventually people can not help but notice you. It may take a year or 5 or even 10 but no doubt you will make it in the end.”
“I feel happy. I always wanted to do something that was beyond me. That would matter to others more than me some day. And as a collective that is exactly what we did. We opened a door for young muslim girls that was shut to us not because of the direct impact it would have on our life’s but because we understood the pain of being told no because of our faith. Without all us Muslim female basketball players, referees and organisations all over the world teaming up and challenging the ban we may not have been heard. It started off with a small Idea ” Muslim women playing basketball in hajabs” now its a reality.
That just feels quite beautiful.”