Life Without Basketball


Somerville Theatre - Screen 5 Sun, Apr 29, 2018 12:45 PM
Film Info
Genre:Documentary Feature
Premiere Status:Work In Progress screening
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Cast/Crew Info
Director:Tim O' Donnell & Jon Mercer
Additional Info


Expected to be in attendance: Directors Jon Mercer & Tim O’Donnell, and Subject Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, in conversation with Karen Given, from WBUR’s Only A Game

Record-breaking student basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had a life of structure and a clear forward path. Raised to follow the Quran, Bilqis has worn the hijab and covered her arms and legs since the age of 14, both on and off the court. She became the first NCAA Division I athlete to do so when she began playing for Indiana State in 2009. Her story attracted the attention of national media and, later, the White House.

However, when Bilqis began pursuing her goal to play professionally, she was informed that FIBA (basketball’s international governing body) had banned headscarves from international competition. The news came as a shock. By barring an essential part of her faith, FIBA’s rule had put Bilqis’s hoop dreams just out of grasp.

LIFE WITHOUT BASKETBALL follows Bilqis as she begins training the next generation of Muslim girls at an Islamic school’s athletic program, the first of its kind. Further, the film explores layers of identity and the complex challenges of being Muslim in America, where family tradition and public perception are often at odds.

Additional Information