Yara Shams isn’t the first nor will she be the last high school athlete to wear a hijab during competition.
The Glenbrook South junior started wearing the traditional head scarf for Muslim women in the winter before her freshman season, so she has never had to play badminton without it. Shams (right) went through an adjustment period, but has begun piling up the wins this season while developing into one of the Titans’ top singles players this season. During competition, Shams wears pants instead of a skirt and wears a long sleeved shirt under a team jersey, per the customs of her religion.
Shams isn’t the only Muslim athlete to wear a hajib this season. Shams said Maine East has a badminton player that also wears a hajib.
“I get hot a little quicker. It was hard at first, but I’m more used to it,” Shams said.
In Massachusetts, senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir just broke Rebecca Lobo’s state career scoring record and will reportedly become the first Division I women’s basketball player to wear a hajib while playing when she attends Memphis next season. Abdul-Qaadir (above) found a perfect shirt using Under Armour.
With advances in lighter clothing, Shams hopes more Muslim girls will become involved in athletics.
“I hope so,” Shams said. “In my religion, (athletics) is a good thing to do. I encourage Muslim girls who want to do it, not to be afraid to do it.”