Get To Know SosaSarah
A Woman, A Hooper and A
It was a normal Monday morning, similar to all others. The commute to work via the New York City subway system is always a mixed-bag of fun. You truly never know what you are going to see.
On the L train entering Manhattan, I listened to my sports podcast while trying to drown out the sounds of the random performer trying to earn their keep.
At the Union Square Station, as I waited for my transfer, I was pleasantly surprised to run into a nice woman who goes by the name SosaSarah.
“I like your shirt, that’s what’s up!” I heard beyond the echoes of Shannon Sharpe’s voice from my earbuds.
“I dig your shirt!” The compliment was repeated. For a brief moment I did not recognize the compliment because the shirt I was wearing was a simple WNBA branded black T-shirt - which was one I casually wore on the regular to no thought.
Sarah and I went on to have a fine conversation about the WNBA and women’s inclusivity in sports as a whole. From this conversation, I knew it would be best to share her story.
Kicking it off, I wanted the BlackPepper community to understand who she is as a person before diving into the nitty-gritty of women in sports.
Eddie: Hi SosaSarah! We met the other day as we were each commuting to work. You acknowledged the shirt I was wearing. Can you explain why this was significant to you and the basketball community?
SosaSarah: The shirt was significant to me because it had a WNBA logo on it! I’m really into basketball and I love the sport. Growing up, it was my dream to play for the W.
For starters I saw a male wearing the shirt! So that kind brought some light to my day because it’s very rare to see a male in New York City repping the WNBA. Unfortunately, usually people wear a Steph Curry or LeBron James jersey. It shows some growth in the female sports community for sure.
Eddie: Tell BlackPEPPER about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been hooping? Where have you played before?
SosaSarah: Well my name is Sarah, but I go by SosaSarah https://instagram.com/sosa__sarah?utm_medium=copy_link
on all social media platforms - I’m a YouTuber. My YouTube channel is extremely entertaining! I go from park to park and gym to gym to play pickup basketball. I play basketball almost everyday, so I thought, “Why not just create content on my channel to inspire, motivate and make people laugh.” I’m definitely a bucket for sure though!
I am of African and French descent and I speak French fluently. My dad’s African and my mom’s French. I’m from the Bronx, however the first ten years of my life I actually grew up on a small French and Dutch island called Saint Martin, where I first learned and grew a love for how to play basketball. My uncle Mark, who is my mom’s brother, put a basketball in my hand at the age of 5 and it’s been with me ever since.
I’ve been a student athlete my entire life. I played for John F Kennedy highschool in New York City and I played college basketball for 2 years at a JUCO (junior college) in Maryland. Recently, I had the opportunity to display my skills on the court by teaming up with @ballislife in California to play on their team. It was an amazing experience.
Eddie: From your experience, how has the basketball community treated women
athletes? Do you find it welcoming? What struggles have you faced?
SosaSarah: From my experience playing basketball over the years, I feel like there have been frequent ups and downs with female hoopers in the basketball community. We’re always getting told we are not good enough or we aren’t as good as the guys - specifically relating to NBA players.
I remember growing up, some challenges I faced included no one wanting to put me on their team to play because I am a female. I don’t feel like my gender should set a limit on my productivity on the basketball court, but for the guys at the court, they definitely did. It wasn’t really welcoming growing up, and it still isn’t welcoming to this day.
I have to constantly prove myself. When I head to a park on my YouTube channel, or a gym, I never get picked and I have to wait for so many nexts (the next opportunity to play at open gym) to get on the court. But once I get on the court, and they see I can play, they instantly regret not putting me on their team!
I will say though, if more female athletes support the community and start sports programs for young ladies, we can begin to see progress. In the YouTube basketball community, there are hundreds of male hoopers, but it’s very rare to see a female hooper like myself on that platform. We need things to be 50/50 out here! Ladies, it starts with us getting out there in the basketball/sports community and becoming more active, even if that means proving ourselves. Let’s do it to better the future for young girls growing up!
Eddie: What do you want to see change for women in sports? Are there any goals you have in mind for the athletic community to adopt?
SosaSarah: The main thing I would like to see change is black female athletes receiving as much media coverage and exposure as the white female athlete. Paige Bueckers (from UCONN Women’s Basketball) made a speech about it at the ESPYs, and it was really inspirational to see a young white women acknowledging the discrimination in the sports media.
We need to keep mentioning it in order to get change. I would like to see more people wearing WNBA shirts around town - it makes my heart smile! Women athletes receiving as much media coverage as the male athletes is just as important as well.
Eddie: As a final question, who is your favorite player?
SosaSarah: My favorite player is Richard Hamilton, he played for the Detroit pistons. I bet nobody
ever says him, but I like old school players like him, Reggie Miller & Jamal Crawford.
Following my conversations with SosaSarah were a great reminder that representation and presentation matter. Highlighting women’s sports, even in a passive manner, such as wearing a WNBA T shirt is powerful.
Conversations start when given the opportunity. It’s up to us as a collective to be willing to have them.