Meet this 8-year-old basketball legend defying stereotypes

March 29, 2018

jovan_ridersinc/Instagram

Jaliyah Manuel started playing basketball at 4 years old. Since then, she’s been fine-tuning her skills while shattering gender stereotypes.

jovan_ridersinc/Instagram

When I play with boys they push me harder, but I’m the one that’s really pushing them harder.

— Jaliyah Manuel

Jaliyah’s practice videos went viral in 2016. Now she’s teamed up with Nick Cannon to star in a 2018 movie about women’s street basketball called She Ball.

jovan_ridersinc/Instagram

But success hasn’t come easy for the New Orleans-born basketball star. With help from her father and coach, Jovan Manuel, Jaliyah practices 30 hours per week.

jovan_ridersinc/Instagram

She’s so focused. She wants to be great so bad.

— Jovan Manuel

Jaliyah dreams to be in the WNBA and looks up to Brittney Griner, LeBron James, Steph Curry and Michael Jordan.

jovan_ridersinc/Instagram

Never doubt someone about girls, because girls can play too — just like boys.

— Jaliyah Manuel

Now Jaliyah has a message for all girls dreaming big.

Grind hard, always stay dedicated and always be humble.

— Jaliyah Manuel