Build a career in sports like a woman

Passionate about basketball from a young age, coach Liz Mills immersed herself in the world of the orange ball when she was 16 years old. She rose through the ranks over the years to become the first woman in the world to lead a men’s national team. And today, she is also the only woman to lead a team in the African Basketball League.

“I started coaching in Zambia, I went to a men’s only tournament and they told me there was no women’s team and I am the coach? So what should I do? training, from there I became the head coach until I went to get the national title, ” says coach Liz Mills.

“Then I continued my career in Africa for the last 10 years. I was fascinated by the continent, I had the opportunity and privilege to work here with different teams. I am often told that you are the first woman to do this and who has done this and I am proud of this achievement as a woman. But above all, I’m proud to be just a coach.”

A pride shared by former WNBA champion Monica Rogers, who currently works at the NBA Academy. For her, women bring incredible positive energy to basketball in particular.

“I played for the Minnesota Lynx, a team that was bad for a very long time. But as soon as I and a few other people joined this team, we won 4 championships.” she remembers.

“After our second title, we had very loyal fans, they were older women who supported this team from the very beginning, they were in tears and expressed great pride. And for me, when a woman wins, everyone wins. I’m not just saying this in sports, it can be in business, it can be anywhere. When a woman takes risks, whether she’s the first or the trailblazer, and does her job well, she paves the way for others. women will come for her, I think that’s important” Explain Monica Rogers.

Beyond the typically athletic framework, the basketball ecosystem also offers perspectives for young African women. Rwandan Heidi Ndayishimye of A BAL says she has enjoyed positive support since the League’s first season.

“I was surrounded by people who wanted to offer me an opportunity because I am a woman. So my experience was very positive. I was in Rwanda, I come from Rwanda, one of the countries with the highest number of women in government, and this is actually the mission of Rwanda. It is about putting women first and giving them every opportunity they can have. The day I realized that they were nominating me not only for my skills, but also because I am a woman, it was very refreshing.” dedicated Heidi Ndayishimye.

For Amadou Gallo Fall, president of the BAL, the presence of women in the ecosystem of sports and basketball in particular is important because it is necessary for the economic development they want to stimulate with this league.

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