African Nations tallest player dreams of European career
Nairobi, Kenya, September 16, 2013 - Senegalese middle blocker Sokhna Gueye, the tallest player of the Women's African Nations Championship, is remarkable not only for her height, but also for her scoring contribution for the Senegal team in the competition.
At 1.94 metres, she started her volleyball career as a 15 year old in school.
"I liked volleyball a lot since the first day I started to practice the sport," remembered Gueye after they defeated Algeria in their second match in straight sets at the Women's African Nations Championship in Kenya.
"I still remember when I was asked to join the volleyball team of my school after the physical education teacher realised I was at least 30 cm taller than my colleagues. I was training with high spirit to achieve my dreams of representing my country."
After her performance with the school team, she joined the Soccocim club and at 17, her dreams became a reality when she was selected for the Senegalese national team, marking the start of her professional career.
"I insisted to continue my studies alongside my sports career. I continued my university study as I liked the field of Human Rights and I want to continue to the master degree of this branch, but I will also continue with my beloved sports, volleyball."
Sokhna Gueye does not hail from a sporting family and she is the only one of her brothers and sisters to be a professional player. Her parents also do not practice any sport. "I need to achieve their dreams of being a famous player beside my own dream to play professionally in any European club. Here in Kenya, I dream to achieve the first ever podium place for my country in the history of our participation at the Continental event."
Senegal did not reach the podium in previous editions of the tournament, finishing eighth in 2003, fifth in 2007, fourth in 2009 and 2011.