FORTVILLE — Mo knows soccer, but he hasn’t always known English.
Born 4,437 miles from his current Hancock County home, Mouhamed Konate arrived in Indiana two months before he was to start seventh grade.
The only person Konate knew at all in the United States at the time was his father, and Konate hadn’t seen him in eight years. With no friends and not able to speak a word of the primary language in his new country, Konate experienced an American culture shock few can imagine.
And it was fútbol that pulled him through.
Now a junior at Mt. Vernon High School, Konate is clearly the dominant force on the local soccer scene and, as such, he is The Daily Reporter’s 2012 Hancock County Player of the Year.
“I think that (soccer) was the saving grace,” said Erin Konate, Mouhamed’s stepmom and a Mt. Vernon graduate. “I remember in school when there was the good athlete that everyone talked about or whatever it might be … I think it helped him meet the right group of kids.
“You really couldn’t ask for a better group of … not just as soccer goes; they’re just great kids. So I think that helped.”