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This High School Squash Team in NYC Is the First Black Team to Compete In the Nationals

This High School Squash Team in NYC Is the First Black Team to Compete In the Nationals

The Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) boys squash team is heading to the high school nationals and making history in the process!

This predominately Black public high school in Harlem actively works to reflect the “spirit and life of Justice Thurgood Marshall and his commitment to positive social change.” 

After a group of students started playing squash, a sport similar to racquetball, through the nonprofit StreetSquash, they started a petition for TMA to create an official team so they could compete. Now they’re making history as the first all-Black squad to do so in the national championships.


Harlem Jones, a TMA student and player on the boys squash team, said, “Being the only all-Black team, we broke a lot of stereotypes, and it's deeper than squash. Squash has opened a lot of doors for me.”

Since the team's inception, they’ve been able to play internationally, once competing in England. Jones’ teammate, Allasane Diakite, reflected on the match, saying, "My opponent was a 50-year-old man. I didn't really think anything of it because he was up there in age, but he showed me some new things. He was a really good opponent."


Simba Muhwati, the squash coach, is a Zimbabwe native that migrated to the U.S. in 2005 to compete on a collegiate level. In his homeland, the sport is very popular; however, many Americans consider it an “elitist” sport that consists of predominantly white players. TMA is bringing necessary representation to the game with the help of Muhwati, and they’ve managed to maintain a 8-2 record. Muhwati is more than proud of the hard work these eight boys have put in, telling CBS News, “It’ll be probably the most proud moment of my career in squash. To walk into that facility with these young men is going to be super special.”

The team is currently raising funds for the U.S. High School Squash Championships, which will be held later this month in Philadelphia. For more information on donations, visit their website here.

Don’t be afraid to squash the competition boys. Good luck and congratulations!

Photo: StreetSquash/ CBS