News / Africa

Senegalese Basketball Legend Helps Motivate Girls

Girls in Dakar, Senegal play basketball in Anne Marie Dioh's after-school program
Girls in Dakar, Senegal play basketball in Anne Marie Dioh's after-school program

Multimedia

Senegalese basketball legend Anne Marie Dioh is helping to train the next generation of women basketball players in her country.  Dioh is making a difference through her after-school program that also encourages young people to stay in school.

Anne Marie Dioh captained Senegal's women's basketball team to two African championships in the early 1990s.  The retired shooting guard now helps girls learn the game she loves in a country where women's athletics are overshadowed by men's teams.

Dioh says that everything she knows about sports and basketball she must pass on to young people.  And that is what pushed her to create this school.

Players from across Dakar come to Dioh's after-school program three times a week for basketball and the structure of organized athletics.

Dioh says that helps her draw in the children, so they can stay in school, learn and play basketball.

Renata Maniaci is a Fulbright scholar from the United States who has spent the last year studying women's basketball in Senegal.

"This teaches them discipline," said Maniaci.  "A lot of the ex-national team players say that the most important thing that they learned playing basketball was discipline, hard work and respect for each other, respect for the people they play against...  And I see a lot of the girls learning that here every day with Anne Marie."

With girls from six to 18 years of age, the program builds camaraderie among teammates who often play together in neighborhood tournaments season after season.

Abibatou Diallo is a point guard on the school's cadet team.

Diallo says the program has changed her life.  She says she could not play basketball before; now she can.  She says she started when she was six years old and that she is now one of the best players at the school.

Dioh says that a successful career on and off the court shows her players that women have the power to create their own opportunities.

Dioh says these girls are not necessarily going to play basketball for a living; they can be other things.  She says they can be referees.  They can be coaches or even international players who represent their country.

Renata Maniaci says Anne Marie Dioh is a role model for a generation of young Senegalese women.

"They see Anne Marie and they see what she has become and how much she has given back to the women who play basketball.  So it really gives them something to strive for," added Maniaci.

Student Abibatou Diallo says she has learned what it takes to succeed.  Dioh, she says, is her idol.  She wants to be like her, do what she did and play like her.

Diallo was one of Dioh's first players.  But when her father died, Diallo's family could no longer afford the program's fees.  Dioh kept her on the team because she says this time in her life is not about making money.

Anne Marie Dioh uses her university salary to subsidize the cost of insurance and uniforms for the team.  She says the children who cannot pay are often the players who work the hardest and that she does not want to hold them back simply because of money.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More