For devout Muslims like Hamidou Diallo, Ramadan is a time of fasting and prayer.
Ramadan has a rich and historical background among the Muslim community. It’s a celebration of sacrifice, family, and spirituality.
But for the young OKC Thunder player finishing his second season in the NBA, this year’s Ramadan was met with additional, unforeseen sacrifices.
Diallo opened up about the additional sacrifices during this year’s Ramadan in the most recent Players’ Tribune article. For many OKC Thunder fans, it’s a fantastic insight into the young, athletic wing off the court.
It’s All About Family
Hamidou loves his family – you can almost hear the pain through his words as he describes video calling his family while he cannot visit due to quarantine.
The family is so important to Diallo and many other Muslims during this time.
“Mosques are closed, everyone is sheltering in place, and things are just a lot more solitary. It’s much harder to connect with others of the same faith.”
That said, the food described in the article sounds so GOOD. Peanut butter soup? I mean, come on. I would definitely go for seconds.
“You guys know about jollof rice? It’s a mixture of rice and vegetables with stew meat that’s seasoned up and dry-aged to just the right taste. And my family makes the best jollof rice on the planet.”
Yes, Diallo, I would love to come have some jollof rice with your family some day, thank you for the invitation!
The Long Days
“So this year, these days, they are just so loooooong. I’m telling you … it’s like they last forever.”
I’ve always wondered how Muslim athletes who celebrate Ramadan manage their workouts and diet. If I fasted all day I would be starving, and my exercise involves a long walk down the neighborhood.
For a professional athlete like Diallo, that has to be the most excruciating 10-11 hours of the day. And it doesn’t help these long days when there’s a global pandemic and everything is closed.
Quite possibly the most relatable part was the Diallo brothers literally pointing out cool trees on the road. I’m pretty sure I’ve done that by myself. A lot.
Despite the difficulties, it’s important to recognize this entire process is a choice. There are plenty of Muslims who may not always practice Ramadan to the fullest (Hamidou even mentioned his slip-ups in the past), but those who make the choice undertake a tremendous an honorable journey.
In closing, I believe this quote from the young prospect best describes his personality conveyed in the article.
“I absolutely love being a Muslim. I love everything about it.
And even though this year’s version has definitely been different from those in the past, it’s still been wonderful. And, more specifically, it’s really taught me to never take anything for granted.”We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!