FEATURE: Man magi todo (My name is) Fatou Samb
To many people, Trevor Noah is best-known for taking over Comedy Central's The Daily Show a few years ago. But on top of that, Noah is a best-selling author.
Born a Crime, a New York Times best-selling book written by Noah in 2016, is a comedic autobiography chronicling his childhood in South Africa during the apartheid, which he describes as a "purposeful and deliberate form of government-imposed segregation and racism".
This is Westside senior Fatou Samb's favorite book because of her family's ties to Senegal, West Africa where both her parents (Alassane and Mariama) grew up.
"It mixes history with comedy," Samb said. "Lots of advice and lessons within the book. I like that book a lot."
When Samb was six-years-old, she traveled to Senegal. The now-grown up Samb doesn't remember anything about the trip to the country, but she can understand the native language.
"I can't remember a thing, but I picked up the language 'Wolof' which is based off French," Samb said. "I can understand it completely, but I just can't speak it."
Samb loves books.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is another one. That piece is one that Samb is currently working on for her AP Literature class at the HISD school.
"It's an escape," Samb said about reading. "It can bring you to a different place without leaving your house, so I think that's really interesting about books."
Outside of sitting down and enjoying a good book, Samb spends the rest of her time socializing and climbing the espnW 100 list and is to currently ranked No. 53 in the country as a five-star prospect.
"Absolutely not, I thought I was just playing to play," Samb said about becoming a top prospect. "Maybe I'll be a little good, but I didn't know it could take you so many places and open up so many doors."
The Beginning to Now
Growing up, Samb's mother Mariama wanted her to be active, which included getting her into basketball.
"It's actually a funny story. It started with my mom," Samb said. "I was a little chubby when I was younger, so my mom was just trying to put me in anything to lose weight. So, I did swimming, softball and it was basketball that really stuck with me."
It was in the ninth grade when Samb felt like she could utilize basketball as a "bus" to get her where she wanted to go.
Three years later, Samb will step onto the court verbally committed to Cal-Berkley, choosing it over Northwestern, Michigan, Rice and Harvard.
"Relationship-wise, all schools were great, however, I felt a deeper connection with the Berkeley staff," Samb said. "From our conversation, I could feel their want to make me a better person in all aspects of my life and help me reach new heights. Also, the team was easy to vibe with and we're cold basketball-wise. I trust and believe Coach Charmin and the staff have what it takes to help me reach my potential and further."
Last year Westside's season ended in a triple-overtime Regional Final thriller against Summer Creek, which didn't go the Wolves' way.
As they watched the Lady Bulldogs celebrate their first ever state tournament berth on the Delmar Fieldhouse court, Samb said that was painful.
"It hurt, it hurt for a long time," she said. "I know for a fact that we could have been in that state tournament. I think it taught us valuable lessons that will carry on with the program for many years to come."
Looking to her senior year, Samb described her feelings as kind of sad. It's a time of change with her high school career ending, but she's excited about the upcoming season and her own future.
Westside will add a new player to the floor this year who Samb is very familiar with – sister Khady Samb, who plays volleyball and basketball.
"I'm super excited, it's our first year to play together," Samb said. "She was on varsity last year but her paperwork wasn't in. She played with the freshmen. This will be the first time I'll be with her on the court and I'll definitely get on her the most for sure."