It was all smiles and joy as the five female student athletes and their coach posed for photos before departure to the USA from the Robert International Airport outside of Monrovia as part of a sports visitor program.

The Sports Visitor Program is a two- to three-week U.S.-based active and experiential sports based exchange program for non-elite youth athletes, coaches, or administrators that introduces participants to American excellence, leadership, and best practices in sports – from community based recreational youth play to professional leagues. The Program, managed by the Office of Citizen Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), this 2022 program is implemented by FHI 360, through a cooperative agreement from the Office of Citizen Exchanges’ Sports Diplomacy Division. The Sports Visitor programs show young people how success in athletics can translate into achievements in the classroom and in life. They also provide Americans an opportunity to interact firsthand with people from every region of the world.

You can read more about the program and their partner in the United States here: Julie Foudy & espnW Sports Leadership Academy and see the highlights from 2019!

The US Embassy in Monrovia partnered with Rebound Liberia in making this a reality for the girls and their coach. The girls were chosen from a screening process of an initial 15 candidates who were also shortlisted from 40 girls within the RL Academy.

The RL Academy is an all girls after school basketball program which ran for three months at the Tubman High School and concluded at the YMCA on Broad Street.

The five girls are:

  1. Precious Jojo Johnson                     JJ Roberts Memorial High School
  2. Dolly Nastha Tarty                           B. W. Harris Episcopal High School
  3. Jessica Ballah                                    St. Peter Lutheran High School
  4. Antoinettee Sherman                     Calvary Baptist Mission High School
  5. Mardwina Vaye                               William V.S. Tubman High School

Angel Buckle is the coach accompanying the girls.

We at Liberia Basketball Network wish them well and will bring you regular updates from their stay in the USA.