Former Rocket star to visit African country her birth family comes from for the first time

Former Rocket star to visit African country her birth family comes from for the first time
Inma Zanoguera (Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's been a few years since we've heard from Inma Zanoguera.

Zanoguera  played on the Toledo Women's Basketball team and spent a little time playing professionally overseas.

She's currently pursuing her master's degree back here at the University of Toledo.

But she's on the road right now, as we speak, to Africa, running in a marathon, but more importantly, searching for answers.

Zanoguera dazzled us with her moves on the basketball court for four years as a Rocket.

She became a leader and a fan favorite during her time in the midnight blue and gold, but back in 2016, she received a document that changed her life forever.

"I found out some information about my origins," said Zanoguera. "Where my ancestors came from and basically the history of my family that I hadn't known for so long. That just sparked my curiosity to want to know more and to want to understand."

Zanoguera grew up in Mallorca, Spain.

She knew she and her siblings were adopted. But this document revealed to her, for the first time, the name of her biological parents and she learned where her family came from.

"As soon as I say that name, Laayoune, it looked a little familiar, but I never knew it was a city, much less that it was the capital city of a country called Western Sahara," said Zanoguera. "I saw that and the first thing I did was Google it."

The new information sparked more curiosity, she knew her birth mother had passed away about a decade ago, but now, she wondered what else she'd been missing out on.

"This lack of connection makes you more passionate about learning or connecting back to those roots," said Zanoguera.

Now, Zanoguera will return to the country where her family is from for the first time.

This week, she is running in a Marathon through the refugee camps of the Saharawi people in Tindouf, Algeria. Her travels will be documented by a Canadian filmmaker.

But the trip is about way more than just a marathon.

"I felt like I had a need to discover who I am, where I come from, more importantly, the land of my mother," said Zanoguera. "I have so much support from friends, family, and the community of Toledo that I could not by any means have foreseen. It's been, honestly, very humbling and I'm super appreciative, it's been incredible."

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