Representing Africa For The World To See

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: July 31, 2008

HOUSTON — The Houston Comets women’s basketball team has gotten little attention on the national circuit thus far during the 2008 season. They are a team that are showing the WNBA that they deserve the same respect that they once received when they won the first four WNBA Championships.

Yes it’s true, there are many new faces and they too play just as hard as the legends that have come before them. The Comets organization represent many players who are either current or former Olympians such as Tina Thompson, Shannon Johnson, Cynthia Cooper and Sheryl Swoopes.

This month, there will be a new Houston Comet player who’s name will be added to the list of Olympians, and her name is Hamchetou Maiga-Ba.

The 6-foot-1 Maiga-Ba, now in her sixth WNBA season, will be representing her country in the Olympics for the very first time. She followed in the footsteps of her mother and aunt who played on many National teams for her hometown of Mali, Africa.

However, this time it will be different and very exciting!

“I’ve been on many national teams before, but this will be my first time playing for my country in the Olympics,” Maiga-Ba said. “It’s such an honor. Winning the African National Championship in 2003 was great, but this I feel will be the proudest moment.”

Maiga-Ba came to the United States in August of 1998 when she arrived on the campus of Old Dominion University. As a collegian, she was the team’s second leading scorer averaging 13.7 points, ranking sixth in the CAA and she scored in double figures in 25 of 30 games.

Her honors include being named to the 2001-02 Basketball Times All-American Honorable Mention; All-CAA 1st team; All-Defensive team, All-Academic Team, and All-tournament team. She was ranked in five different CAA categories.

Maiga-Ba has been on a tear during the months of June and July setting season and career highs in various categories. She set season-highs for points (15), field goals made (7), field goals attempted (13), offensive rebounds (6), total rebounds (10), steals (8), and minutes played (34).

She tied her career-highs in the following categories: field goals made, field goals attempted, offensive rebounds, total rebounds, and steals.

The 13th of 19 brothers and sisters, Maiga-Ba always loved the values that her parents, Aminata Fofana and Boubacar Sekou Maiga gave her. The Dean’s List honoree earned her bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and she is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Business Adminstration.

“My parents always valued the importance of getting your education,” Maiga-Ba stated. “Having so many siblings, I always had someone to play with, but 90% of the time the focus was on education”.

Player Profile Full Name: Hamchetou Maiga-Ba Hometown: Bamako, Mali (Africa) Jersey Number: 99 Position: Guard College: Old Dominion Birthdate: April 25, 1978 Age: 30 High School: Mali High School Marital Status: Married to Baba Ba

Favorite Things

Food: African food/ Pasta/Banana Plant/ Restaurant: Macroni Grill/Si’pe Actress: Sandra Bullock Musical Artist: Baaba Maal Color: Red Movie: American President & Remember the Titans No one knows: That my nickname is “Tanti”– which means Aunt in French.