New junior shooting guard journeys from Dubai: After 11 years on boys teams, Minnah El-Berier aims to take her skill to the girls’ court.

Junior Minnah El-Berier’s move to Virginia this summer from Dubai brought her closer to her family and the IB curriculum, but it also led her to the girls basketball team.

El-Berier has played basketball for almost 11 years, most of which was spent playing with boys teams, putting her at the receiving end of sexism.

“In Dubai, they don’t have very strong girls teams,” El-Berier said. “I’ve played with boys teams most of my life, which can be frustrating for obvious reasons.”

El-Berier said the experience gave her the opportunity to improve and learn how to face future challenges on the court.

“I learned that I shouldn’t take offense to it, and actually get better and block the words out,” El-Berier said.

Though not being able to play with girls had its struggles, El-Berier said it helped her game.

“However, playing with guys helped with building my confidence as a player,” El-Berier said.

Getting to finally play basketball with girls meant big adjustments for El-Berier.

“Being able to come to Marshall and being part of a really good girls team reassured me of worries I had while moving,” El-Berier said. “Though it was an adjustment playing different plays with different people than usual I was happy to finally be able to play with other girls.”

El-Berier has also gotten involved with other student organizations such as the Black Student Union.

“I immediately joined the Black Student Union because I wanted to be able to connect with other black Marshall students because at my other school there was a large black population, and I wanted a sense of community in a new area,” El-Berier said.