Few players have made larger contributions off the court than former UConn women’s basketball forward Batouly Camara. On Sunday night, the recent graduate was honored for all her work with the 2020 Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award at the ESPYs.
The award, now in its second year, is given to high school and college aged-students who use the power of sports to better their communities, like King. Honorees received either a $10,000 college scholarship or a grant to an eligible nonprofit related to their work.
Camara founded Women and Children Empowerment (WAKE) in 2017, a non-profit organization to empower young women and girls through basketball with clinics and workshops around the world. She also plans to start an all-girls boarding school in Guinea — her family’s home country — that would allow girls to play basketball, receive scholarships and get professional development training.
Elsewhere, Camara, who graduated with a master’s degree in Sport Management this past May, also gave a TedTalk at UConn and recently released a book, A Basketball Game on Wake Street, which portrays a group of diverse girls coming together to play basketball.
After ESPN announced her as a recipient, Camara used the attention to further her message of empowerment on Twitter:
AN HONOR & A PRIVILEGE to be the recipient of the Sports Humanitarian Billie Jean King, which recognizes young individuals that are using the power of sport to create social good— B a t o u l y ➰ (@BatoulyCamara) June 22, 2020
To every young girl who sees this YOU ARE LIMITLESS! TOGETHERWERISE ❤️https://t.co/jSfIbnRIHu https://t.co/xR42DifPFr
Though her career at UConn is over, Camara hopes to still play basketball professionally while continuing to build on her contributions with WAKE and other projects.