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Diaba Konate on the Court

Diaba Konate is rising women's college basketball star.
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Diaba Konate’s College Career

Originally from Paris, France, Diaba Konate grew up in a family of nine children. After high school, she decided to continue hooping in the United States. Although she was nervous about moving abroad, she knew it would benefit her career. Konate started her college basketball career at Idaho State in 2019. She started 31 games for the Bengals and averaged 9.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals a game. Diaba is happiest when she steals the ball away from the offense. In Diaba’s second season with the Bengals, she started 25 games. The team went on to the first round of the NCAA playoffs where Konate contributed 16 points on 7-12 from the field. Unfortunately, the Bengals fell short and did not advance.

In 2021, Konate transferred to U.C. Irvine. Konate was thankful for her time in Idaho but decided she wanted a change of scenery. In her junior year, Konate started 17 out of 29 games. She made a name for herself at Irvine, where she was named to the Big West All-Defensive Team. Diaba Konate is a defensive nightmare for opposing teams. Konate enjoys stealing the ball, as much as she likes scoring points. Konate tied the eighth single-season school record with 63 steals. Despite a good 2023 season, her team will fall short of making the NCAA tournament.

Konate Faces Adversity

While Konate’s basketball journey has not been easy, she remains a Muslim athlete who literally wears her faith on her sleeves. Laïcité are religious restrictions by the French government. The literal translation for Laïcité is secularism. These laws prohibit the acknowledgment of religion, so Konate experienced a lot of pushback and criticism for her in-competition attire. She has been told by event coordinators at games that she wasn’t allowed to play wearing the hijab for safety and hygiene concerns. In an interview with RateMyCollegeCoaches, Konate said, “I think it’s deeper than security and hygiene concerns.”

Despite this adversity, Konate continued to compete hard and confidently carry herself. Konate had faced religious discrimination throughout her basketball career in France. In an interview with RateMyCollegeCoaches.com, Konate expressed how difficult it is to be Muslim in France. Even with discrimination holding her back, Konate still made a name for herself in France. In 2018, Konate won a silver medal with the French National Team at the International Basketball Federation.

Konate’s agent, Mohammad Quazi is one of her biggest supporters. Throughout Konate’s career, she has been able to turn to Quazi for many of her needs. Quazi is also a litigator and hustles so hard for Diaba because he understands how important her religion and basketball are to her.

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