As one of the most diverse sports leagues in the UK, the British Basketball League are proud to support Black History Month.
During the month of October, we will be sharing stories from
members of the Black community across our Leagues, in celebration and
recognition of Black history.
In the first of our interviews surrounding Black History Month (BHM), we were able to sit down with Mo Walker of the Leicester Riders to talk about the importance of this month.
Where We Are
Black activism has been a part of Mo Walker’s entire life. Being named after icon Maurice Bishop, Walker’s family has always been spreading awareness of the struggles and progression members of the Black community have had through the decades.
“My Mum was an activist back in Toronto, Canada.
“My grandmother and grandfather were also activists and passed it down to her. My whole childhood, I grew up watching her lead marches and rallies, fighting for equality, and equal rights for all types of people.”
Mo looks fondly on his parents’ ability to lead and fight for what is right in the world, and that equality should exist throughout and admires the fighting spirit his mother had throughout her times leading marches.
“She was also a minority. She fought for everybody, indigenous
people, LGBTQ community, and was there to make sure everybody gets the same
rights and the same treatment, no matter their circumstances or the colour of
their skin or backgrounds.”
Doing His Part
Mo has also been using his role in the Leicester Riders to spread awareness for the equality of everyone. This has shown the most with him visiting many schools and working with the Leicester Riders Foundation.
Being the ambassador for the past two years, Mo has taken the lead for many ambassador assemblies to spread not just the awareness of Black Lives Matter, but overall, the equality that every person deserves the same rights. The same thing his mother has fought in favour of for decades.
“I was approached to do a Black Lives Matter assembly, to
promote the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020/21. The movement is good, but
there’s a bigger issue in which it isn’t just black lives, it’s about
The Leicester Riders forward has also believed that the
sport of basketball has helped him use it as an example of equality for
“Everybody can play basketball. It doesn’t matter what you
look like, or where you came from. So, I use this to relate to the kids and to
let them know we’re all equal. We’re all people together.
Saluting Our Sisters
This year’s Black History Month centres around the organisation’s “Saluting our Sisters” movement. The goal is to spread awareness and acknowledge the achievements of the often-overlooked women in the Black community and celebrate their contributions to society over the decades.
Of course, Mo used his mother as the best example of this in his life and how her incredible work has helped many and has also helped him become the man he is now.
“My mother and grandmother for sure are my role models. My mum
would bring me on her work trips when she would be the keynote speaker for
“Having that experience and just seeing her lead and
everyone supporting her and pushing her was super influential to me. Public
speaking is something that I do now pretty easily just because I watched her do
it for so many years.
If I get in front of a group of kids now, it’s easy for me
to get my point across and to lead them in the right direction.”
The League and BHM
The British Basketball League is going all out this October.
As a result, we’re putting the spotlight on our players, coaches, and members
of our own League back-office team. We will share their stories, find out who
inspired them, and dig into their celebrations for Black History Month.
In celebration of Black History Month 2023, the British
Basketball League is also offering small black-owned businesses located within
25 miles of League clubs the chance to receive free advertising on the LED
boards during Thursday and Friday games throughout October 2023.
To go along with this, as part of our commitment to
celebrating Black History Month, we are asking our clubs’ players to visit
schools and speak about its significance.
As one of the most diverse sports leagues in the UK, the #BritishBasketballLeague are proud to support Black History Month, which starts today.
— British Basketball League (@britishbasketm) October 1, 2023
Keep updated with the British Basketball League as we share
these important stories during the month of October. To find more resources and
to learn more about Black History Month and the Saluting Our Sisters theme,
please follow this link.