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Netting the Hoops in a Hijab

Asma Elbadawi played football. She jumped around. And she took on a four-year battle for the right to wear the hijab while playing basketball, becoming one of the leading voices in the fight to get the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA) — the sport’s governing body — to change its rules three years ago. With over 132,000 signatures on her petition, Elbadawi urged FIBA to permanently lift the ban on headgear to allow players in turbans, hijabs and other religious headwear to play basketball at all levels. Elbadawi, who lives in Bradford in northern England, now plays with the hijab, having stayed true to herself, her religion and her passion for the sport. She’s played for the University of Sunderland, Bradford Dragons and Bradford Cobras, but still faces criticism.