Know Your Athlete, Sports

Know Your Athlete: Iman Ibrahim

Montreal native Iman Ibrahim has always preferred team sports—her time as a Martlet has only bolstered her love for basketball. The point guard joined the team after being scouted while playing for Dawson College during her CEGEP studies. After considering a few different schools, Ibrahim ultimately decided that McGill would be the best fit.

Ibrahim had already been considering McGill for a few years after meeting former coach Ryan Thorne in high school. She credits Thorne for giving her a good impression of McGill and its team—an impression that ultimately helped consolidate her choice during CEGEP.

Ibrahim started playing basketball when she was six years old, after her elementary school coach was impressed by her running skills during recess and asked her to try out for the team. Since those elementary days of shooting hoops, Ibrahim has never looked back.

Throughout her basketball career, Ibrahim has found that a large part of success in basketball hinges on team chemistry and effective communication.

“I’m social and open-minded, which is important for basketball as you spend time with a group and have to communicate with people,” Ibrahim said. “This communication reflects on game performance, which is why it is important to have a bond outside of the court.”

Through her many years on the court, Ibrahim says she has forged meaningful connections and friendships that she hopes to maintain for life. 

“I still have friends from my old teams, I met some of my closest friends through basketball. I also met my boyfriend through the sport,” said Ibrahim. “It literally built my life.”

Beyond the camaraderie Ibrahim shares with her teammates, she also values her coaches, whom she credits with helping improve her performance.

“The head coach used to be the assistant coach, so she knows what she’s doing. I regularly saw her in the bleachers at Dawson College,” said Ibrahim. “Associate coach Dianna Ros used to play with McGill and won during their strong era. They are both people with experience that know what it takes to win.”

Like her coaches, Ibrahim has a solid winning mentality and has total faith in the Martlets’ ability to succeed. She explained how this year, the other teams had more experience playing together, so the Martlets had to work on strengthening their mental resilience. Once they gain the right experience and team cohesion, Ibrahim is confident that they will become unstoppable.

“People see us lose a lot, but you need to trust the process,” Ibrahim said. “I know that before [this year] they were super strong but we are young and trying to rebuild, and that is a process. We will come back even stronger.”

In addition to basketball, Ibrahim enjoys watching other McGill teams play. She has attended football, soccer, and rugby games, and follows all the team pages on Instagram. As both a viewer and athlete, Ibrahim has noticed disparities in attendance between the men’s and women’s games—an unfortunate reality that she has seen continue throughout her life.

“I think women’s basketball is really interesting and it should be followed by more people,” Ibrahim said. “I understand the NBA has more viewers than the WNBA. It would be intelligent if they had the women play before the men in an effort to bring more viewers who would tune in before the NBA game.”

Ibrahim has learned to deal with the pressure and commitment of basketball as it has been a part of her life for such a long time. Thanks to her drive and dedication, she has always managed to balance both her coursework and athletic commitments. However, if she gets overwhelmed, she knows that she has a solid support network she can reach out to.

“If I feel down, I discuss it with my friends or boyfriend,” Ibrahim said. “They also play the sport, so they are able to understand my feelings and know what to say.”

Her proudest moment as a player was when she won the National Championship in Quebec after winning Provincials with Dawson College. The best part: She didn’t expect the victory, which made it all the more incredible. 

Iman Ibrahim has the capabilities and drive to help push her team to achieve success. With her discipline, passion, and remarkable skill, the Martlets can count on the point guard to give her all to bring victory back to McGill. 

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