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'Incredible' basketball enables Arzoo to break the mould

29 January 2019

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Arzoo Bashir’s basketball journey hasn’t been the easiest, but the impact it’s had on her life has made it all worthwhile.

Originally a netballer, Arzoo was encouraged by The Albion Foundation Basketball Development Coach Clive Allen to switch to the sport he loves dearly after he was impressed by her talent.

Flourishing on the basketball court, the Dudley College student's experience in the sport was thrown a curveball as the girls' team folded.

That didn't stop the aspiring dentist to give up on the sport she had grown to love as she took the unconventional step of joining the college's boys team – a decision that raised eyebrows when stepping onto the court.

"As soon as I stepped on the court it was very weird," she explained.

"I saw the boys staring at me 'Is that a girl on the court? Is that actually a woman playing?' and they used to laugh, thinking it would be so easy to go against me.

"I think they were surprised when we started playing though and I started getting minutes and things like that," she smiled.

But, as time wore on, Arzoo's ability shone through, in turn improving her confidence.

"She picks things up really quickly," smiled Clive.

"And what she doesn't pick up, she will forever ask 'Can you help me with this? I'm not entirely sure with this.' And that's what you want from your players."

Arzoo's gratitude for Clive's and other Foundaton basketball coaches' guidance is clear to see.

"Basketball in one word for me means 'opportunity," she said.

"You know when you do something for the first time and it feels like it's right? That's exactly what basketball is for me."

For more information regarding the Foundation's basketball programme, please email clive.allen@albionfoundation.co.uk.


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