Left Menu
Development News Edition

NFL-From streets to spotlight, Obada 'over the moon' after dream NFL debut


By Frank Pingue

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Britain's Efe Obada only began playing American football four years ago after a traumatic childhood during which he was abandoned and homeless, but he defied the odds yet again with a dream NFL debut.

Nigerian-born Obada, a defensive end with the Carolina Panthers, earned an interception and a key sack in his team's victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday to add yet another chapter to what was already a Hollywood-worthy story.

"I'm over the moon," Obada said after getting the game ball, via the Panthers' official website https://www.panthers.com. "Words can't describe how I feel right now. I'm still filled with adrenaline."

What made Obada's first National Football League game all the more impressive was the against-all-odds journey the 26-year-old had to endure just to get there.

When Obada was 10, he and his sister were trafficked to Britain from the Netherlands and abandoned on London streets when plans to be raised by someone there did not pan out.

Obada spent many years of his teenage life being shuffled from family to family and embroiled in the city's gang culture.

Despite having never been involved in an athletic endeavor, Obada decided to practice with a London-based American football club and immediately fell in love with the game, which he saw as an outlet for some of his anger.

Obada began playing with the London Warriors in 2014 and his athleticism caught attention and led to some practice squad time with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys in 2015 and parts of the 2016 off-season with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.

He was then one of four players to participate in the NFL's International Pathway Program, which began in 2017, and went on to earn a spot on the Panthers' roster.

"This team is like my family to me. I'm happy how supportive they are," said Obada. "They see the hunger in me. They see the uphill battle I had to climb in order to get here."

Obada made his presence on the field felt early on Sunday when he sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to force a fumble on a play that was overturned.

He earned his interception off a tipped ball in the fourth quarter, before sacking Dalton and setting the stage for an interception on the ensuing play that effectively sealed the 31-21 victory.

"I'm filled with adrenaline right now and I'm happy, but this is just the beginning," said Obada.

"I'm happy, but I don't want to be a one-hit wonder. I want to start creating that momentum and just keep going. I'm going to go back in the lab, prepare for the next opponent and go after it." (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto Editing by Christian Radnedge)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Hyderabad Encounter: Time to review modern judiciary and restore people’s confidence

Its probably for the first time in the history of independent India, the parliamentarians, chief ministers and ministers in the Union and State governments are openly supporting an encounter. This indicates the people from top to bottom hav...

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....

Videos

Latest News

Schroder shoots Thunder past Jazz

Dennis Schroder scored 27 off the bench to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 104-90 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night in Salt Lake City. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 20 points and Chris Paul had 16 points and seven assists for the T...

Eye blinded covering Hong Kong protests, Indonesian reporter seeks justice

Hit by a projectile fired by Hong Kong police while covering an anti-government protest nearly two months ago, Indonesian journalist Veby Mega Indah was blinded in one eye, but that has not blotted out the traumatic flashbacks filling her m...

Doping-Australia backs Russia ban, athletes group unimpressed

The Australian Olympic Committee have welcomed the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to ban Russia from major sporting events, including next years Tokyo Games, for four years as the sports world began to digest the suspension on Tue...

Jonathan Groff boards 'The Matrix 4'

Actor Jonathan Groff is the latest name to join the much-awaited fourth installment in The Matrix franchise. According to Entertainment Weekly, details about the character to be played by Groff, best known for Frozen 2 and Mindhunter, are u...

Give Feedback