Noa’s love for France stems from her family background. She is a dual U.S.-French citizen via her father, Ibrahima Diop, who has Senegalese, French and U.S. citizenship, and her mother, Natalie Kissinger, an American from Wisconsin. 

Noa attends a French international school at home and speaks the language fluently. Still, the decision to let her play in France initially wasn’t an easy one for her parents or training center officials.

“I mean, Noa’s my first-born,” Diop said. “Initially, we tried to move there, but the logistics were very difficult. I wanted to make sure she was safe — mom and dad were not going to be around the corner.”

Training center officials wondered how an American player would adapt to playing and living in a foreign country.

“It’s not every day that you receive a call from an American mom saying, ‘Look, my daughter has both nationalities, and she wants to play for France,’” Chauvin said. 
“Usually, they want to play for USA Hockey, we understand that. It was a little bit surprising, but once you know Noa and Noa’s family, you understand that France is really important to them.”

Noa confessed to a bit of homesickness when she first arrived at the center, but it quickly faded, replaced by the excitement of experiencing something new. 

Her parents’ concerns faded as well, eased knowing Diop has relatives in Paris that Noa could visit. 

“It was actually a great opportunity for her to get to know them better,” he said. “We were able to host Thanksgiving there last year, so her French cousin experienced an American tradition there.”

As Noa chases joining the French women’s national team, she’s hoping it qualifies for the 2026 Milano-Cortina Olympics. France is currently 13th in the IIHF women’s ranking.

“It would be an amazing opportunity to play in the Olympics,” she said. “And the location itself is a dream location that I’ve always wanted to go to. To go play there and play the sport that I’ve loved since I was 7 years old would be wonderful.”