Former Narbonne High School star Nnamdi Asomugha has been a great player on the field, and a great person off of it. Through his foundation he promotes education and helps orphans and widows in Africa. Photo by Jeff Lewis
As a Berkeley grad, Nnamdi Asomugha has been able to help former President Bill Clinton with his Clinton Global Initiative.
The March 19 gala will provide a positive impact on the disadvantaged youth in the U.S. and the underprivileged orphans and widows in Africa through education and empowerment.
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Nnamdi Asomugha is known for his playmaking abilities on NFL football fields, where he has become an All Pro cornerback for the Oakland Raiders. He’s a smart and hard working player on the field, and, as his mother Dr. Lilian Asomugha says, he is a very giving person off the field.
“Nnamdi is a wonderful child,” Dr. Asomugha said. “He is very helpful. He is always giving. He is always giving up something for somebody.”
Dr. Asomugha said that her son has been that way since his childhood, and now he has the ability to help others in a much bigger way.
Nnamdi Asomugha created the Asomugha Foundation to provide a positive impact on the disadvantaged youth in the U.S. and the underprivileged orphans and widows in Africa through education and empowerment.
The Fifth Annual Asomugha Foundation Gala, which will be held at the Renaissance Hotel at LAX, will raise funds so that Asomugha can continue the work of the foundation.
The Asomugha Foundation has two focuses. OWIN, Orphans and Widows in Need in Nigeria, where Asomugha is from, and ACTS, Asomugha College Tour for Scholars. Asomugha takes high school students on college tours to encourage them to peruse a higher education.
Asomugha, who played football and basketball at Narbonne high school and went on to play football at Cal (Berkeley), emphasized education when he was a student.
“The thing that helped me the most to get into Berkeley was focusing on my education,” Asomugha said. “I think that all the skills in the world in football would not have gotten me into any college. My education had to play a big role. That helped more colleges take a look at myself and the things that I represented.”
Asomugha’s list of college choices were Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, and Notre Dame, which are four of the top universities, academic wise, in the nation.
Many big time college athletes have no plans to obtain a degree, but that was not Asomugha’s plans.
“I just thought it (obtaining a degree) was the reason that you go to college,” Asomugha said. “You go there so you can finish. You want to get that degree so then you can move on to bigger and better things. I thought I would be doing myself a disservice if I went all the way to Berkeley and not get my degree.”
Many pro athletes struggle financially after their playing careers are over, but Asomugha looks like he will buck that trend.
“When you have a college degree, that always helps with the people that are hiring you,” Asomugha said. “They know that you were determined and that you were able to get that degree while being active in other things. That speaks volumes to a lot of business owners and people who are hiring.”
Asomugha has worked himself into great position, and his caring nature is helping many others through his foundation. But he cannot do it alone, and he is looking for help from the community. The funds raised at the gala will go a long way to helping those in need.
Legendary Civil Rights Leader Reverend Cecil Murray of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church will be the guest speaker, and he will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The gala will include a live and silent auction, in which guests can bid on authentic West African artwork including carvings and jewelry, and autographed sports memorabilia from NFL and NBA stars.
Tickets for the event are $125 and can be purchased by calling 310-325-0009 or online at www.asomughafoundation.org. All tickets purchases are tax-deductible.
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