[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/07/art.sadiya.jpg
caption=”Sadiya Buta, 15, is getting attention for much more than what she wears on the tennis court.”]
It’s 100 degrees in Arizona, but that doesn’t keep Sadiya Buta off the court. She is part of one of the top doubles teams in her high school’s division. Like her teammates, she is clad in her school’s team shirt and skirt, but Sadiya also wears an extra layer of pants, a long sleeve shirt and a hijab, as part of her traditional Muslim beliefs.
The 15-year-old is looked at like a phenom in the sport, only picking up a racket for the first time last year. Her family recently came to Tucson, Arizona from a refugee camp in Kenya. Before leaving the camp in Dadaab, Kenya, Sadiya’s family was forced out of war-torn Somalia. The International Rescue Committee resettled Sadiya, her 5 siblings and her parents in the United States.
The adjustment for “Sandy,” as her friends call her, was a challenge, to put it mildly. She acts as a translator for her family, as they all learn English and her parents look for work. Despite the obstacles, Sadiya does whatever it takes to tackle her home life with school work and tennis, including waking up at 3 a.m. to complete her homework to keep up her better-than-perfect GPA. She admits that people at school made fun of her at first, but she paid no attention, determined to keep her eye on the ball.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview