Osi Umenyiora is excited that the NFL will be heading to Africa.
Umenyiora was a former All-Pro defensive player and two-time Super Bowl Champion with theHe is of Nigerian descent and has been a key voice in the league’s efforts to establish a foothold across Africa. Umenyiora is part of an NFL contingent going to Ghana for its first official events. These activities will begin on June 21.
The program will include a talent identification camp, as well as a fan event, and a flag-football clinic. According to the league, there are more than 100 African-American players on the NFL rosters.
Umenyiora stated that the NFL is not just dipping its toe in Africa with its new program.. According to the former star rusher, the league is not diving in.
Umenyiora was born in London to Nigerian parents. He spent seven years of his youth in Nigeria.
“You will be amazed at the number of African-American athletes that we have in the NFL. There are many and growing. We've seen the NBA invest in Africa. There's no reason to not be present on the ground. That's exactly what our plan is.”
The NBA already has a strong presence on the continent. The league established a new entity in 2021 to manage its operations in Africa. The NBA and International Basketball Federation (FIBA), have reportedly partnered for nearly $1 billion.
Officials from the NFL will assess 40 players as part of the first NFL prospect camp. The process will take place over two days in Ghana. Umenyiora directed the regional camps that were held in Ghana.
Damani Leech (NFL chief operating officer for International) said, “We look forward hosting our first camp Ghana and will look at activating in Nigeria and other African nations in the future.” “We want to give the opportunity to the next generation African talent to showcase and develop their talents.
“As we look for ways we can strengthen the pipeline of international athletes, we hope that this camp and future camps provide a pathway for aspiring players across the continent.” The camp's top talent could be invited to International Combines, the International Player Pathway Program, or for athletes aged 16-19, there is the chance to attend the NFL Academy London.
Umenyiora in Nigeria founded The Uprise, which is a football development program for youth between 16 and 22 years old. Umenyiora also conducted camps in South Africa and Ghana.
Three prospects who took part in Umenyiora’s Regional Camps this year – then were invited to the NFL's International Combine and its International Player Pathway Program pro day – signed with NFL Teams: Chigbo(Giants), Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi ( ) and Kehinde Hassan Oginni ( ).
Umenyiora will be joined by former NFL players Mathias Kiwanuka from Uganda and Roman Oben from Cameroon. Current players are expected at the following events(Nigeria), of the , (Nigeria), of the , (Ghana), of the And (Liberia) .
Umenyiora stated, “We're doing it the right way.” “This is where you need to be.”