With the NBA recently announcing its plans to create a Basketball League on the continent, marking a major win for African basketball players and fans, 21-year-old Khady Camara is also sharing her own plans of taking her talents global.
Nicknamed Néné, Khady is part of Dakar’s National Superior Institute of Popular Education and Sports Basketball team, a team made of women players who are often referred to in Senegal’s sports circles as the Duchesses. Known as the Dakar University Club, Khady’s national women’s basketball team recently made it past the first round of the World Cup for the first time in the national women’s team history, now Khady has her sites set on making it to the global women’s national basketball teams.
Camara explains, “Every player has her post and I am a game leader. I control and lead the game on the court, like the trainer leads outside. On the court I have to have the character of a leader. I need to position my players. That is my role on the court, make passes, make the team play and everything. My size doesn’t stop me from doing everything I need to do. My dream is to go international, I want to leave the country,”
While Camara dreams of taking her talents to the global stage, the NBA is committed to building efforts to propel homegrown talents in Africa through grassroots initiatives such as the NBA Academy Africa Women’s camp which was held in Dakar in 2017. The association has also launched a new basketball league which will feature 12 club teams across Africa, with qualification tournaments to be held in Egypt, Rwanda, Angola, South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria and Tunisia.