Via Aiyana Ishmael/ The Reporter
Photo: Front Line Help: Amy Cole Soumare, a 6-foot-4-inch center from Senegal in West Africa, is expected to add depth to the Lady Sharks front court this year. Omar Negrin/The Reporter
The Miami Dade College women's basketball team has added a 6-foot-4-inch center from Senegal in West Africa.
Amy Cole Soumare is billed as a versatile front court athlete.
"I was searching for one more player with nice size and ability to shoot the three ball and play multiple positions on the basketball court," Summons said.
Summons was tipped off about Soumare by a mutual friend from the Harlem Globetrotters who introduced them.
The 20-year-old freshman moved to the United States last year. She attended Ombudsman-Charter Metro in Arizona. She also participated in the Elite 1 Academy Wings, a basketball program in Phoenix.
"Once Amy gets in better physical shape she will certainly be among the strong contributors to helping this team win a lot of games," Summons said. "She adds size, depth, and offensive power."
Soumare is expected to augment the talents of Cheah Rael-Whitsitt, who averaged 12.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game last year.
Her athletic ability was first nurtured on the soccer field. The sport is her first love. When she turned 15, her older brother, Khadim Soumare, introduced her to basketball.
"In the beginning I was a little bad, but after a while I got better," Soumare said. "I practiced everyday."
Adjusting to life in the United States has been tough. The food is different: "I only like it a little bit, Soumare said.
Food isn't the only thing she has had to adjust to. She misses her family.
"I talk to my family three times a week," Soumare said. "I miss them so much. They tell me they're praying for me."
At MDC, Soumare an economics major, is getting accustomed to her new family. Her roommate is freshman guard Ganette Chism from Chicago.
"Amy is very quiet but she's kind. It's cool living with her because I always hear her speaking her language to her friends and family," Chism said. "It's very different and unique to hear other languages."
Soumare said her goal is to eventually play in the Women's National Basketball Association—her role model is Candace Parker, a center for the Los Angeles Sparks—but for now she is focused on helping the Lady Sharks.
"I want to help my team win a championship," Soumare said.
The Lady Sharks start their season on the road at the Tallahassee Jamboree on Oct. 12.