Oumou Toure is a current graduate transfer and one of the centerpieces to the Cal Poly women’s basketball program this season.
Toure began her career at Butler for the 2019-2020 season where she flourished instantly. The former Washington state AP Player of the Year in high school made her presence known in the Big East Conference leading her team and the conference in steals while also starting 20 out of 27 games.
“Me being able to contribute to a 19-win season was really big for my freshman year because we were expected to be almost last in the conference that year and then we really turned everything around,” Toure recalled.
Unfortunately for Toure, the good times wouldn’t last at Butler. COVID-19 abruptly ended her freshman season before the team had a chance to make a postseason run. The following season, a concussion suffered from a car accident sidelined her for three months. When she came back, she tore her Achilles tendon, keeping her out of the following season.
Toure watched from the sidelines for two straight seasons.
“That was really challenging, especially to watch people play the sport that you love,” Toure admitted. “That was very hard to watch and be like, if I was out there, I could have possibly contributed more.”
Even when beginning her new basketball chapter with the Mustangs, there was doubt whether or not she’d be able to be perform at a high level again.
“It was very tough for me to try to even come back this year for Cal Poly because I was just like ‘Oh, I haven't played basketball in so long. I haven't been on the court in over two years.”
But now, things are turning for the better. Thanks to the belief from her teammates and coaching staff, Toure is heating up in the latter part of the season.
“[The coaching staff and players were like] we believe in you. That's why we brought you here…to be able to do what [you’re] doing now and possibly do even more.”
After scoring the buzzer beater to beat UC Riverside at home Jan. 16, Toure finally set herself back on the path of doing what she always knew she could do: be a dominant and impactful player on both ends of the floor.
Since that game winner, Toure has scored over 14 points in five of the seven games including 12 steals over that same stretch.
“This whole season, I'm like, I know I can do this. I just got to get there and it's not just about me now. We just got to string more wins along with it.”
Oumou is the third Toure sister to play Division I basketball with her two older sisters Sira and Khadidja both having played at multiple programs.