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Dribbling Down Barriers: Muslim girls shoot hoops

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, the first hijabi to play division one college basketball, brings inclusion to Tampa youth basketball.
Published Jul. 28
Updated Aug. 18

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, founder of Dribbling Down Barriers, created a program to promote diversity and inclusion in a place she knows well – a basketball court.

The training program is meant to develop athletes both on and off court. Abdul-Qaader believes basketball has the power of bringing people from all walks of life together. The camp is for girls grades 4th-12th.

She was denied in 2014 from playing professionally in Europe due the International Basketball Federation rule prohibiting head gear larger than five inches. Four years later, FIBA overturned the hijab ban.

Now, Abdul-Qaadir uses her voice to advocate for Muslim women and girls in sports.

“I had to stand and be strong for these young girls,” Abdul-Qaader said. “Especially the Muslim girls who are going to come after me and play any type of sport.”

The summer camp, held at the Universal Academy of Florida in Tampa, runs July 26-30.