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Aboubacar Sissoko would have loved nothing more than to celebrate with his mother, Yacine Coulibaly, after he found out that he was the winner of the 2020 Lieutenant Governor Athletic Award as the U Sports male athlete of the year last week.
She was the one who encouraged him to stick with soccer after he tried to make the leap to the pros, but was cut by Forge FC of the Canadian Premier League last year.
He recalls being demoralized when he was released, but her support convinced him to go back to the Université de Montréal to finish his degree and play one more year for the Carabins.
"She came to all of my games," Sissoko said.
"She took care of me. I can say it's because of her today that I'm here."