Girls Basketball Team from Saudi Arabia Visits HU, Coach Six

Hampton, Va. – Female basketball players from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia are visiting Hampton University and Women’s Basketball Head Coach David Six, as part of a 10-day trip to the United States. Their July 13 visit to HU is sponsored by SportsUnited, an international exchange program of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, that helps youth around the world translate athletic success to life skills.

While at HU, the team will get a campus tour, visit the university’s admission and international offices, and do strength and conditioning training. The team, Jeddah United, will also receive a presentation about sport management and Title IX, the clause that mandated, “no one shall, because of sex, be denied the benefits of any educational program or activity that receives direct federal aid.” It is best known for its impact on high school and collegiate athletics, and particularly female athletes.

SportsUnited is proud to offer the athletes this type of exposure, officials said. The girls, ages 14-16, are from various communities in Jeddah. The team is a competitive, extra curricular team within the community.

“This is the Office of SportsUnited’s first Sports Visitors program with Saudi Arabia,” said Kelli R. Davis, from the program’s bureau of educational and cultural affairs. “Through our program, the U.S. Embassy was able to reach a population that has been untouched, female athletes in Saudi Arabia.”

In addition to the athletic experience, the girls’ exposure to HU could spawn an academic relationship as well, said Dr. Cassandra Herring, dean of the HU International Office. The International Office offers referrals on international student activities, community outreach and individual and group assistance with the many cultural aspects of studying in a foreign country.

“Hampton University is extremely excited to host Team Jeddah, and to share what our university has to offer,” Herring said. “One of our goals in the international office is to make partnerships that foster educational opportunities internationally for students. HU is a frontrunner academically and athletically, and we want those abroad to be able to experience that. This is an important visit for Team Jeddah, Hampton University and female athletics.”

The Lady Pirates are coming off back-to-back winning seasons. In their second season under Six, the team went 25-7 – winning 20 games for the second straight year and winning the MEAC regular-season title with a 15-1 mark. They beat Howard 61-42 in the MEAC Tournament title game for their second straight MEAC Tournament title, and earned a No. 13 seed – the best seed for a MEAC school in the current 64-team format – to fake No. 4 Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.

While in the United States, the group will also visit Galludet University’s campus and its women’s basketball program. The school, in Washington, D.C., is the world’s only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

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