Amida Peregrino-Brimah in full flight
I bet Amida Peregrino-Brimah did not know that his fortunes would change this fast, three years into his stay in the United States of America.
He has within this short span of time become a sensation in basketball circles and among the large and scattered Ghanaian community in this basketball-loving country.
As a cousin, I was sitting with his father Mr. Rashat Peregrino-Brimah, a building technologist, at Cowlane in Accra, when he came in to say a few things to him. Those were his last days in Accra before emplaning to the US; so I guess it was all about his preparation to go and make a date with destiny.
Standing at 7 feet, the tallest in his team, he has taken the traits of the Peregrino-Brimahs of Accra, tall and lanky. Not so for the ladies who struggle to control their obesity.
Amida was named after our grandfather, the late Amida Peregrino-Brimah, who until his death, was the Chairman of the Council of Muslim Chiefs in Accra, and one-time starter at the Accra Turf Club.
Amida or Abiola (his other name) attended the Happy Home Academy at Accra’s Bubiashie. It is interesting to note that although cut out for basketball, Amida played soccer a lot while in Ghana. His uncle Lawal Peregrino-Brimah aka Lancaster, coach for the CEPS basketball team in Accra, was the one that introduced him to basketball at their Nyamekye residence in Accra.
Amida’s father is happy that at last his son has found where his talent lies, and is exploiting it adequately. As for the larger Peregrino-Brimah family, part of the Tabon group, one of them has exalted the name of the family further.
A posting on the internet, points at how he has changed the fortunes of his team, the University of Connecticut Huskies, or UConn Huskies. Even as underdogs on Monday April 7th 2014, they defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 to win the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Final four title, as the best college team in the world’s largest basketball loving nation.
As a powerful defensive centre wearing no. 35, Amida, who was born in Accra in 1994, averages 2.3 shot-blocks.
He was spotted by a certain Nana Baafi in Accra, and the interaction between him and the stranger was to change his life and prompt this story.
His awesome height, the stranger noted, would make him a fortune in the game of basketball in the US, which the man, who is now his guardian, encouraged him to consider.
Moving to Miami, Florida, under the care of the stranger, who was once a basketball coach, he practiced a lot to improve his performances and to eventually change the initial impression of one who could not even catch a basketball, to a youngman on the verge of booking a place in the NBA and stardom.
He is not relegating his academic work to the background, as he has showed remarkable interest in pursuing it to the fullest.
By A.R. Gomda
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