Basketball: Isabelle Yacoubou forced to end her career

“Shaquoubou” hangs up his sneakers. Already withdrawn from the French team since 2016, Isabelle Yacoubou ends her career. The interior of 1.90 m stands out with a well-filled resume.

Out with a knee injury since her last game against Charleville-Mézières on January 24, she will not return to the pitch until the end of the season. A heavy blow for the basketball player who ended her career in her favorite club Tarbes, with whom she played her first professional game in 2005.

A member of the French Olympic team in 2012, she was part of the adventure to the final against the American women (defeat 86-50). The French-Benin had a rich career in the best European clubs between Schi (Italy), Valencia (Spain), Spartak Moscow (Russia) and Fenerbahçe (Turkey). After a short stay in China, she returned to France in 2019 at Tango de Bourges.

From 2022, she returned to the Hautes-Pyrénées to finish her career there. A 21-year struggle she began in her native Benin where she set the national shot put record – which stood from 2004 to 2016 – before heading to south-west France.

The fight against prejudices, especially when she got pregnant in 2018. “I was lost. I just signed a three-year contract for almost one million euros (with the Italian club Schio, which she eventually decided to leave in order to live out her pregnancy in France), it was supposed to be the last contract in my career, she says in an interview with Le Parisien in 2023. Conditional we tell ourselves that we cannot be a mother and an athlete. You either end your career or remain an athlete, but never both at the same time. That was my reality.”

At club level, abroad and in France, she won everything except the Coupe de France. A near perfect record added to five medals with the French team, including gold at Euro 2009. Her conversion is a natural fit as she is a television consultant and will join the Tarbes technical staff at the start of next season.

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