These middle schoolers stay true to their religion, and their team, with their own custom line of basketball gear.
Say what you will, but middle-school basketball is no joke. Out at the Cedar Riverside Community Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a group of Muslim girls on a basketball team took their game very seriously—as well as their faith. But a lot of items they wanted to wear, including a hijab, weren’t part of their traditional basketball uniform. So they took a time out and came up with a strategy: since the uniforms didn’t work for them, they would design their own.
The girls partnered up with students at the University of Minnesota College of Design, as well as the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport. Over a series of months, the two groups worked alongside rows of sewing machines. The girls would come up with big visions for their design, and the students would help them execute it.
The final product was powerful, and best of all, useful: including a flexible skirt, breathable leggings, and a tighter hijab. Only four years ago, FIFA banned the Iranian women’s basketball team from playing at The Olympics, simply because of their hijabs. For some Muslim women, it can be a challenge to celebrate their faith on the field. But it’s not impossible. While FIFA hosts a slightly bigger game than the Cedar Riverside Community Center, the center clearly has better ethics, a better vending machine, and a killer middle-school team.