Aminat Jubril: A journey from Lagos to Hammond


Southeastern Athletics

Senior center Aminat Jubril first arrived to America and played women’s basketball at Pensacola State College. In her final year of eligibility Jubril chose to attend Southeastern.

Not all student-athletes spend the entirety of their athletic careers at the same school. Some of them do not even spend it all in the same country.

Aminat Jubril, a center for the women’s basketball team, has been at the university for the past two years. A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Jubril first came to the U.S. on a scholarship to Pensacola State College.

Jubril recalled why she took up an interest in playing basketball almost 10 years ago.

“I was in high school when I started, but it is kind of different at home because we go by grade, so it is a different thing, so I started when I was about 14,” said Jubril. “There’s a rim at the back of my house, like a street basketball game. I really just passed there, I didn’t pay them no mind, but one day I just decided to try to shoot the ball because one of my friends was there. I tried to make a layup, but I couldn’t make it. I thought, ‘Maybe I should try learning this.’ So, my grandpa got me a ball, and I started going there to play with them, and that was how it started.”

Prior to her time at the university, Jubril played for PSC for two seasons. She explained that playing for a community college was different compared to playing for the university.

“I got a scholarship to play in Pensacola, Florida,” explained Jubril. “After three years there, I got a scholarship to come play here, my junior year. Pensacola is a junior college, so a four-year school is a little bit different. I guess the practices are more intense and all that.”

In addition to being a student-athlete, Jubril explained the challenges that come with being an international student as well.

“It has its ups and downs, and I get homesick,” said Jubril. “I have not been home since I’ve been here, so that’s a downer. On the plus side, people want to ask where I’m from, and they want to know what life is like over there.”

Ayla Guzzardo, head coach of women’s basketball, recalled how Jubril has opened up and become more vocal over her time at the university.

“She didn’t speak very much at all,” mentioned Guzzardo. “When she left on her official visit, I didn’t even really think she liked it just because she was like ‘Okay, thank you, goodbye.’ Now, she cracks jokes, she’s funny, you get to learn a little bit about her personality, and she’s a super intelligent girl.”

Guzzardo shared that Jubril has improved on the court as well.

“Her IQ has really grown,” said Guzzardo. “I’ve only had two years with her, but when she first got here it would take her a little bit to realize a staggered screen and a down screen or up screen. Now I can just tell her to do a down screen, and she knows exactly what to do. We made a few adjustments with some of the plays, and she was a big part of that because she set those good screens. She plays a big part. I don’t think she realizes how big a part she plays.”

“I do like it here,” said Jubril. “The coaches are pretty nice, and the teammates all kind of get together. Sometimes we have hard times, but we still come together as a family and get it done.”