Satou Sabally: More than a basketball player



Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo’s German basketballer of Gambian origin Satou Sabally, who grew up in America, feels comfortable making appearances in a Muslim country, Turkey.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Sabally said her first name comes from Aishatu, which comes from Aisha, a Muslim name with religious significance.

“I have grown up as a Muslim with my dad. And he taught us many things, so we had Islam classes in school, and I know a lot about history. I know a lot about religion,” she added.

Sabally loves to talk about legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, saying he was a fighter who stood for more than just sports and himself and being able to read everything he did inspired her.

“We went to his museum in Louisville, Kentucky and I read every single board because I think education is vital. Knowing your history is important and other people’s history,” she said.

She said the boxing legend’s name should always be in the history books of sports and politics.

“It’s just so important, what he did, and really what he stands for.”

Every single country has a racism problem, and we need to work it out, we need to talk about it, we need to educate ourselves about it, Sabally said.

UNICEF supporter

Sabally said she is also a supporter of the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), underlining her belief that all children should be able to receive an education and that people could help in this goal.

“I record little educational sessions for kids who want to stand up and do something great for the world. And it’s basically about giving children a voice and making them feel empowered and powerful in a society that often undermines children and forgets about children,” she said.

Working as a UNICEF supporter is to elevate children, to elevate their voices and make them feel heard, she explained.

Proud of wearing Fenerbahce jersey

Sabally said her club wants to be yearly champions, and that’s her next goal.

She admired the Istanbul side even before joining, recounting that every time they face Fenerbahce in her previous team, they would have “more energy.”

“And I think our coaches are also more eager to win the week before we play them. There’s a lot of tension and excitement,” she added.

“I knew it [Fenerbahce] before, because I’m from Berlin, and we have a lot of Fenerbahce fans. It’s amazing, you know, every time you put on a jersey and you play for Fenerbahce, the songs playing fills you up with pride.”

Happy to be in Turkey, she said that Turkish cuisine is amazing and also reminds her a little bit of Gambian food.

During her career, Sabally has played for Germany’s TuS Lichterfelde and Eisvogel USC Freiburg and the Dallas Wings in the WNBA.

Joining Fenerbahce in 2020, Sabally averaged 16.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists during this season.

*Writing by Emre Asikci


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