International basketball celebrates vote to allow headgear

Even as basketball's popularity soared around the world, not everyone believed they could get in the game.

A ban on headgear by the sport's governing body meant choosing between play and prayer, a rule that wasn't about religion but felt as if it were to some groups.

That ended Thursday with a unanimous vote to allow headgear, a change that was celebrated by Muslim women, Indian men and others who felt excluded.

"My reaction is it's a victory for inclusion in international basketball," said Big East Commissioner Val Ackermann, a longtime FIBA board member. "I think this will especially work to benefit Muslim female athletes. It's a very positive and...