Alexandra Maseko

Alexandra Maseko is the captain of the Zimbabwe national women’s basketball team. She is the founder of the Sports and Development Trust Zimbabwe.

Background

Alexandra Maseko was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. She played basketball for the national team for many years and eventually was able to land a full scholarship to play basketball in the United States at Seton Hall University. She is just the second female from Zimbabwe to do so at NCAA Division 1 level.[1]

Education

Alexandra is fluent in German and she has a BA in Political Science with a minor in French from Seton Hall University. She graduated with a 3.8 GPA. She also pursued a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy while serving as a graduate assistant for Seton Hall’s women’s basketball team. Maseko won a sports scholarship to Seton Hall University in New Jersey, US, and graduated in 2013. She is the founder of the Sports and Development Trust Zimbabwe, which helps young athletes to apply for sporting scholarships. ‘Honestly, few things can compare to that experience of representing your country and your fellow people back home. Being Zimbabwean carries with it a huge amount of pride for me’.[2]

Career

Based in the United States, Alex is a force to be reckoned with on and off the basketball court. Her basketball career began at Arundel School, Harare and as captain of the team she took Arundel through it’s first international tour to South Africa. For a total of 9 years Alex played for Zimbabwe’s Junior National Team and the Senior Women’s National Team. Most notably, she represented Zimbabwe at the 9th and 10th All Africa Games. Prior to attending college, Alex coached the Arundel U15 team during her gap year. Excelling in her studies she earned 10 A’s for her 'O' levels and she was a Rhodes Scholar finalist in 2012. In 2013 Alexandra was a Top 9 Finalist for The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Woman of the Year Award. Alexandra took the initiative to develop a successful sneaker drive. She collected sneakers in good condition and took them back home to Zimbabwe where she distributes them to the underprivileged. Alexandra is particularly interested to see more children and youth exposed to the world of opportunities they are unaware of or think they are unentitled to. She wants the youth of Zimbabwe to have the right tools so that they can accomplish their own dreams and move forward in life.

In 2014, Alex's main project was "Help me Fly Home" she collected sneakers, raised money to fly home to Zimbabwe and delivered the sneakers to the Tariro House of Hope (THH) kids, and she ran a sports workshop for the kids while she was there. You can read me about it here and watch the video she made https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-me-fly-home. Another project she did was taking the older kids to the USA Education Centre for a tour, and they got to hear her give a talk there about Sports & Education. She also helped raise awareness of THH with some media coverage.[3]

Her voice on basketball development

Alexandra Maseko says there is need to start development of players at an early stage to cover the gulf that exists between this country and the best nations in the sport. In 2014, Maseko spoke to the media after a live session dubbed A day in the life of a student athlete in the US, with aspiring young sportspersons where she was the guest speaker.

The session was co-hosted by EducationUSA and School Sports Network at Eastgate Centre in Harare in August 2014.

“It’s very difficult. I would say it starts with having a good sort of coaching pools, which we have a couple already. But they need to be more of them, more that are sort of dedicated to working with kids that are of a younger age.

“So when they start younger the skill development gets better as you progress not like me where I started when I was old,” said Maseko.

Maseko said players also need to be exposed to international events so they have an idea of what to expect at the high level of competition.[4]

Video

Picture Gallery



References

  1. [1], Indiegogo, Accessed: 17 December, 2020
  2. Hannah Mentz, [2], The Guardian, Published: 17 December, 2020, Accessed: 17 December, 2020
  3. [3], Tariro House of Hope, Accessed: 17 December, 2020
  4. Ellina Mhlanga, [4], The Herald, Published: 29 August, 2014, Accessed: 17 December, 2020