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Article: We Are Oaklandish: Women's Premier Basketball Association's Faatimah A

Group of women in a gym, getting ready to play basketball.

We Are Oaklandish: Women's Premier Basketball Association's Faatimah A

How has Oakland inspired you to create the WPBA?

I always say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! Growing up in Oakland has taught me so many valuable life lessons about myself, and being able to use basketball as a tool to help me navigate throughout this process has allowed me to find my purpose. I wasn’t always the best player on every roster but living in Oakland taught me to never give up on myself. Oakland inspired me to create something of value for the women in my community because I believe everyone willing to work for what they want is deserving of an opportunity to make their dreams a reality. I founded the Women’s Premier Basketball Association in 2022 to give female athletes the opportunity to continue to do what they love at a competitive level and receive professional recognition for it. From then this has grown into something much bigger that not only helps our athletes but members within our organization to further their careers both on and off the court. 

What does it mean for you to be able to play in the bay?

It’s truly an honor to be able to bring basketball of this caliber here to the Bay Area. This is a valid reminder that women who play a competitive sport become strong leaders within their communities, and the next generation of athletes need to see that. Visibility matters and with women's sports being on the rise I feel that it is our duty within our community to continue in helping to push the needle forward. 

Who is your favorite basketball player?

This is a hard one. I actually have two favorites. The first one is Shannon Bobbit (Tennessee Vols). During my sophomore year of high school, I was a big Tennessee Women’s Basketball fan. I loved seeing how much trust Pat Summit had in her team to get the job done and the amount of trust she had in Shannon to be the floor general. Growing up I was always told that I was the smallest or most undersized player on my team but seeing Shannon out there playing and getting the job done was inspiring. I realized it was never about height but the will to win and the love you have for the game that truly matters. My second favorite player is Steph Curry. Seeing how his game continues to elevate with each season is just amazing, and seeing how he continues to do his part to uplift the community is admirable. One of my most memorable basketball moments is being able to do a ball-handling demonstration with Steph during the Warriors Basketball Academy All-Girls Camp. 

Where is your favorite place to hoop in the town?

My favorite place to hoop in the town is at Dimond Park. That’s where I started to develop my game and honestly just fell in love with the process. 

What is your favorite basketball move, and how long did it take you to perfect it?

My favorite basketball move would probably be the crossover with a little hesitation thrown in from time to time. When I was learning how to play basketball, Allen Iverson was my favorite player to watch. I spent a great amount of time watching how he was able to bait his defenders with a simple crossover and get any scoring option he wanted on the court. 

What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self about pursuing your passions and dreams?

Something I wish I could have told my younger self about pursuing my dreams and passion would have been to give yourself more grace. I was always my toughest critic because I just wanted to do things perfectly and that hindered my growth a bit. It didn’t allow me to have a positive response when I made a mistake, so I got down on myself a lot instead of just realizing it was a part of the game. 

Have you ever met any basketball legends? If so, what was your most memorable interaction with them?

I have had the pleasure of meeting a basketball legend, Ruthie Bolton, on a few occasions through the Warriors Basketball Academy. She would often be invited as a guest speaker at camp, and her journey inspired me to keep pushing forward. During my journey to become a professional athlete, she trained me and gave me valuable advice. I have met several great athletes since then, and the most crucial lesson I have learned from all of them is to have faith in yourself and believe in your abilities.


Oakland is diverse and Oakland is proud. 'We Are Oaklandish' is a storytelling project created to highlight just that.

These are stories that shed light on the different experiences, memories, and opinions of the people in the city we all love. They are people who give our city its oddball spirit, its passion for justice, and its creative vigor. They lift us up with laughter, peace, nourishment, and authentic hard work.

They make us proud to call this town our home. They are Oaklandish.

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