As one of the most diverse sports leagues in the UK, the British Basketball League is proud to support Black History Month (BHM).
Throughout the month of October, we are sharing stories from members of the Black community across our Leagues in celebration and recognition of Black history.
In the next line of our series of interviews dedicated to Black History Month, we sat down with American Taylor O’Brien; current Leicester Riders Women’s player and rookie in the Women’s British Basketball League. Taylor spoke to us about the importance of Black History Month and the impact it has made in her life.
Born in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, Taylor spent four years at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania before going to Florida State University for her final year in education.
At Bucknell University, she was able to use her role to show awareness and take a lead in activism for members of the Black community.
“I was able to have a lead role in activism for Black
people. But also for other people of colour and minorities because it was a
predominantly white institution.
“So I could use my voice and my platform in school to show what equality means, to be respectful to people of colour and people that don’t look like you, and learn about their cultures instead.”
Taylor got involved in a lot of voluntary work throughout her time at Bucknell University, including making educational videos and leading book groups for her College team.
“It’s different to see. You walk in, and you’re the only
person that looks like you. I took that and used it to my advantage.
“I could educate people. We made videos with my team to spread awareness and teach people how important it is to be kind and respectful to people regardless of the colour of their skin.”
Joining the Leicester Riders only a few months ago, Taylor already has set her sights on bringing more awareness and becoming a leading Black advocate throughout the League.
Outside of speaking to us, she also has ideas for getting the teams throughout the British Basketball League to do more as a group.
“I would love to get the other teams involved and talk
about what we could do to do more.
“In my College, we were able to connect with every team
and do acts and events together to spread awareness and teach culture. Even
though we’re divided on the court, we’re united in our cultures and as people
Saluting our Sisters
This year’s Black History Month centres around “Saluting our Sisters”. The idea is to empower and spread awareness and acknowledge the women in the black community and what they have done to progress over the decades.
Taylor spoke to us about the women in her family who have been inspirations to her throughout her life and are the reason she is here today.
“My mother was the glue of our entire family. She raised four kids and was able to do that to teach us to become successful and respectful human beings.
“She has taught me the importance of hard work, and how
things won’t come to me in life, and I need to get there myself while also
being positive and respectful throughout life.”
The League and BHM
The British Basketball League is celebrating BHM this October by shining the spotlight on our players, coaches, and members of our own League back-office team. We are sharing their stories, finding out who inspired them, and digging into their celebrations for Black History Month.
The British Basketball League is also offering small black-owned businesses located within 25 miles of League clubs the chance to receive a total of £10,000 free advertising on in-game LED boards during Thursday and Friday games throughout the month.
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.
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.
With the new season here, you can still get your British Basketball fix by following the League on social media or heading to our YouTube channel to relive all of the best moments from the current season.