On Saturday, University of Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh made a spectacular one handed catch that went viral, largely for similarities to a famous catch made by New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last year. Darboh’s theatrics on his highlight reel catch were a small part of Michigan’s upset victory over BYU this weekend. And that exciting victory was only one highlight from what Darboh is now calling the greatest week of his life.
Two days before Michigan’s Saturday afternoon game in Ann Arbor, Darboh was in Detroit for a ceremony where he officially became a citizen of the United States. He arrived to America 14 years ago as a young boy after he was forced to flee Sierra Leone in the midst of a civil war that took both of his parent’s lives when he was 2 years old. After escaping Sierra Leone,Darboh and family members sought refuge in Gambia and Senegal before finally being sponsored to come to America. He arrived in Des Moines, Iowa as a 7 year old struggling to find his way through grade school where he remembers sticking out like a sore thumb. However, his athletic gifts quickly became apparent and he was able to use sport to begin forming lasting relationships in this foreign land. He is now in his senior year at Michigan playing under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh and may have just had his most memorable game thus far.
Despite a tumultuous start to his life Amara Darboh has now added many bright spots to his incredible journey, and largely has sport to thank. At PeacePlayers we are strong believers in the power of sport. Whether you focus on Darboh using athletics to form lasting relationships and receive an education at one of America’s top universities, or youth playing to break down walls in divided societies around the world, sport clearly has the ability to foster both individual and communal growth.
Follow this link for a more detailed account of Amara Darboh’s journey from Sierra Leone: Ann Arbor Times