Mady Sissoko: The Michigan State star who plays for a bigger cause

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:45 PM EDT
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NEW YORK CITY (WILX) - Michigan State junior Mady Sissoko is gearing up to take on Kansas State in the Sweet 16 Thursday night in New York City.

Read: Michigan State basketball soaks in NYC ahead of Kansas State game

However, Sissoko’s journey to this point is far from typical. Born and raised in Mali, a country in West Africa, Sissoko has only been playing organized basketball for a few years.

Despite the challenges he faced growing up, Sissoko has come a long way, traveling nearly 5,000 miles and taking a few plane rides to play in the Sweet 16 in the city that never sleeps.

“You know, every time you come back here, it’s very different. For me, personally, back home is way, way different than New York City,” Sissoko said. “We are very honored to come back here again and play Madison Square Garden.”

But Sissoko plays for more than just basketball while at Michigan State. He’s also playing for his whole country, giving all of his name, image, and likeness money to help build a brand new school back home.

“That’s the mission we have right now, to build a school and give it to children who are trying to go to school,” Sissoko said. “I want to always give back, and I know how much people need help back home. So for me to have a platform and now give back is definitely a blessing for me to do that.”

For Sissoko, playing basketball is about more than just the game; it’s about inspiring young kids in his home country to follow their dreams.

“That’s my dream. I hope somebody also follows what I’m doing over there,” he shared.

For more information, or to donate, visit the official Mady Sissoko Foundation website.

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