JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
Suzan Awal Samuel, a talented basketball player
from South Sudan, has nurtured her skills in the elite sporting
genre since her childhood days despite fierce resistance from
her patriarchal society that hardly recognize the positive
contributions of the girl child.
The 25-year-old has
an undying love for basketball compared to other sports she
played since childhood.
Awal found her
purpose in the male-dominated sport and is currently zealous on
gradual improvement in order to leave an enviable legacy upon
During a recent
interview with Xinhua in Juba, Awal appeared jovial and
She said her dream
is to defy the odds and play in developed countries like United
States, China and Britain.
“I know if I can
play in any country, I can fit well into their squad and prove
to the club that South Sudan has female talent like rest of the
world,” Awal said.
She was born in Wau
formerly Western Bahrl El Ghazal and comes from defunct Lakes
State, particularly Cueibet County. She hails from a polygamous
family and she is the second born in a family of six.
Awal revealed that
she has played games like football, netball and handball but
then discovered her best talent was in basketball where she
represented her country in an East Africa region school
competition and won numerous trophies as a player.
In 2016, Manut Bol
Camp funded by Lol Deng Foundation nominated her as the best
coach of the year and the award inspired her to aim for the
“I won the trophy of
the best coach of the year and that really motivated me to grow
stronger every day in my coaching career,” Awal said.
basketball she also attended university and graduated from South
Sudan Catholic University-Juba mid last year with a Bachelor
Degree in Economics and Business Administration.
Awal works as a logistic officer with Solidarity South Sudan, a
She added that
despite the obstacles, her education coincided with her talent
to play and coach basketball. She described as “a Sound body
makes a sound mind.”
“I am coaching and
working at the same time with a church organization and both of
them earn me a living to support my mother and siblings,” she
Although South Sudan
national basketball team was established in May 2011, and became
a member of FIBA in December 2013 - the number of girls playing
in its squad continue to decline.
The young female
basketball coach urges young girls to step up into sporting
careers and to explore their opportunities and unyoke the
culture of seeing girls as a source of income.
Awal disclosed that
her positive behavior on the court backed her thrilling success
in basketball and advices young girls to behave positively when
choosing talent like football, netball and handball while
associating with their counterparts.
“To be a
professional player as a female, playing requires good personal
conduct and that can make your parents follow your dreams,”
The sports lady
emphasized that sports is a key tool used by developed and
developing nations to bring people together under one umbrella
as citizens of their country.
She called on
government to prioritize sports by building an industry that can
empower young talent to boost its economy.
“Sports is the best
tool that can bring South Sudanese together. It will unite
people and create cohesion among them. There is no conflict in
sports because in sports we all win. We do not discriminate
against people based on tribes, political affiliation, gender or
color. We are one big sporting family,” she added.