Moiyan Toure – a role model student-athlete

Posted On Monday May 16, 2022

Moiyan Toure is our star basketball player, an all-time leading rebounder in the ACAC (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference), a record-breaker last year, and Keyano’s top five players in scoring. However, not everyone knows she has come a long way in her journey to success. Originally from Liberia in West Africa, Moiyan, 24, moved to Canada in 2000 along with her mother and little brother to escape the ongoing civil war there.

A forward on the Keyano Huskies Women’s Basketball Team, Moiyan is completing her final semester in the Social Work program. She was recruited while in high school in Edmonton by Dwayne Vigilance, Keyano’s Women’s Basketball Coach. She joined the College in 2016, and, was named MVP in the 2019-2020 season.

"Moiyan is the most dominant female basketball player in the history of Keyano Women’s Basketball,” Coach Dwayne Vigilance had said when she was named MVP.

“I’ve been fortunate to have three amazing coaches in my life. Each one of them holds a special place in my heart. Dwayne helped me develop as a player. My high school coach Kate Greabeiel helped me develop as a person and treated me like her own daughter, while Gerald from my club team took a chance on me, assisting me with my goals,” notes Moiyan.

Today, Coach Vigilance has known Moiyan for six years, and calls her a “role model for others.”

“Moiyan’s adaptability and coming so far despite many challenges make her a role model. She is unique and special and is always front and centre with Huskies outreach initiatives. Whether we are in elementary schools, youth events, or the soup kitchen, she is a community service leader. I’m proud of all her accomplishments, she has a bright future in whatever she puts her mind to.”

Indeed, Moiyan has overcome personal challenges such as not being able to afford college, dealing with ADHD, a speech impediment, and reading comprehension issues.

“I couldn’t afford college, Coach Vigilance saw something in me when he recruited me. He said he wouldn’t guarantee me a spot, but if I worked hard, I’d get it. Then, reading was difficult for me. I couldn’t process words. I had to take extra time to study. It took me a week to get what other students were getting in a few days. I needed extra study sessions. Coach Vigilance’s wife, Lisa helped me a lot. She is also the manager of the Students’ Association of Keyano College, (SAKC). The entire Vigilance family made me part of their family and helped me settle at the College.”

Moiyan also spent a year on the SAKC board. And, while she notes being a black student on campus can sometimes be “hard, because you have to work twice as hard, which is a lot for a kid to have on your shoulders,” despite the obstacles, Moiyan feels Keyano helped her become her best self, and that there is always more to be done by Keyano and other post-secondary institutions and other organizations to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

“I honestly didn’t think I’d succeed at the College. Keyano helped me see I’m smart. Social Work is a hard program. But everyone helped me realize as long as you have the right teachers and environment, you can be successful. I don’t ask for help easily or like to impose on people. I’m independent, and if I fail, I fail; but my instructors went out of their way to help me and told me I didn’t need to do this alone.”

Dr. Priscilla Hendrix from the Childhood Studies department is her favourite instructor. Dr. Sandra Efu, Dean of University Studies, Career Programs, & Academic Upgrading at the College, was another one of Moiyan’s supporters.

“When I joined the College, I started in the Early Learning and Child Care program, and Priscilla was just an amazing and inspiring person. Sandra helped me a lot through my college experience. They are both strong, black role models for me.”

Moiyan’s GPA now varies from 3.0 to 3.5 every semester, by far an outstanding accomplishment!

A lesser-known fact about Moiyan is that she is a poet as well. Poetry has been a way of sharing her identity through words. Her verse captures the experience of being black – doing her part for social justice.

“I love to write poetry. It is how I show my emotions. When George Floyd was killed in the USA and the Black Lives Matter movement happened, it was emotionally draining. It wasn’t just his death – it is how black people are treated. It happens too many times in the world. I spoke to people about what was happening, walked in the local Black Lives Matter march, and am doing my part to raise awareness.

A role model student-athlete, indeed. Moiyan makes us proud of all that she has accomplished. As she is in final year and will be convocation this May, the faculty, staff, and athletics department of Keyano College all wish her the greatest success.  She will be missed.

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