News Update

First Hijab-Wearing Basketball Referee Makes Olympic History

Sara Gamal is set to make history in Olympics by becoming the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to referee basketball. Even the form of basketball she’s refereeing is itself making a debut in Tokyo this July.


3×3 basketball is considered the world’s most-played urban team sport, which has grown out of the game played worldwide in parks and recreation areas, known as Playground Ball, Streetball or Blacktop. It is estimated that more than 430,000 players worldwide and 182 countries play 3×3.


Sara will also be the first African and Arab woman to officiate 3×3 basketball at the Olympics. She says young women referees in her home country often write to her, saying that they thought “they had no chance of being in big tournaments or to travel all over the world. I tell them you can do better than me. You can achieve all your goals anywhere you want. You have the power to do it.” Sara said, “It’s a big honour that they can think about their future as referees and see that if they work hard they will achieve their dreams.”


That is what she wants the young Muslim girls watching her worldwide to take from her success, as they see her courtside in Tokyo.