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Diaba Konate is a Trailblazer in Women’s College Basketball

RateMyCollegeCoaches conducted a sit down with U.C. Irvine Basketball star Diaba Konate.
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Diaba Konate is a college star for U.C. Irvine Women’s Basketball team. Konate plays guard and has been a great defensive addition to the team. She is averaging 2.2 steals and 2.9 rebounds per game. She has made a name for herself on the basketball court, but there’s a lot more to her than just what you see on the court.

Laïcité

Diaba was born in Paris, France. She is one of nine children in her Muslim family. Konate has dealt with Islamophobia throughout her basketball career in France. The French government has religious restrictions called Laïcité. The literal translation for Laïcité is secularism. The French government does not recognize any religion and Islamaphobia is extremely prevalent in France. In a study conducted in 2017, only 39% of French people viewed Islam as being compatible with French society. This law has implemented restrictions that prohibit hijabs from being worn during Konate’s basketball games.  She has been told by event coordinators at games that she isn’t allowed to play wearing the hijab for safety and hygiene concerns. In an interview with RateMyCollegeCoaches, Konte said, “I think it’s deeper than security and hygiene concerns.” Konate is committed to her faith and will continue to wear her hijab proudly. 

 

“It’s hard being a Muslim in France”, said Konate during her interview with RateMyCollegeCoaches.com

Idaho to U.C. Irvine

The restrictions never set back her dedication to the game. She continued to ball on the court in France where she eventually went to a sports academy in high school. In 2019, Konate started her college basketball career at Idaho State, where she instantly became a superstar. During her time at Idaho, she averaged 11.9 rebounds per game. She was named to the Second-Team All-Big Sky Team. She later transferred to U.C. Irvine where she has continued to ball. Her love of faith and the game has transcended her to become a superstar.

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