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Ghanaian born American footballer to launch foundation in Ghana

Published on: 24 February 2017

Accra, Feb. 24, GNA – A Ghanaian born American Footballer, Ezekiel Nana "Ziggy" Ansah, will arrive in Ghana, on Monday, February 27, to launch a special foundation.

Nana Ansah, who is a defensive-end, plays for Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL), will use his visit to Ghana to prepare the grounds for the establishment of a foundation.

The foundation, the “Ezekiel Ansah Foundation”, is aimed at promoting Physical Education in the public sector schools and Ghana as a whole and will be launched on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

Nana Ansah, also known as “Ziggy” and is on record to be the first Ghanaian to be drafted into the NFL in 2013.

Nana Ansah’s initiative is expected to whip up the interest of young people in physical education, which has over the years dwindled in the educational sector.

The 29-year old, who played soccer and American footballer, is also an enthusiastic basketball fan, having played regular basketball games at Golden Sunbeam Montessori School.

He developed his basketball interests and abilities on a turf donated by Forever Young Foundation (Steve Young).

Ansah, who attended Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Legon, in 2004, before gaining admission at the Brigham Young University, played on the Golden Sunbeam basketball team and became the most valuable player and led his team to win many games.

He gained the attention of basketball enthusiasts including missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and developed a friendship with Ken Frei, an LDS Church missionary and got baptised into the church.

Ansah’s  academic records enabled him to receive an academic scholarship in 2008 and with the help of Alma Ohene Opare and later Ken Frei, he was able to adjust to his new surroundings and culture in a new country.

Ansah tried out for the BYU Cougars men's basketball team twice, but was cut from both the 2008 and 2009 teams and later walked successfully on to the BYU Cougars track team, where he ran a 10.91 in the 100 meters in addition to clocking a time of 21.89 seconds in the 200 meters.

He finally played for the Cougars from 2010 to 2012. Though he was

Unfamiliar with American football, Ansah had to be instructed in the most basic rules and techniques, even needing help getting on his pads for the first time.

However, midway through the 2010 season, Ansah made his first collegiate appearance in the Cougars' game versus Wyoming, where he recorded his first tackle. During the 2010 season he saw action in six games on special teams and the defensive line, recording three tackles and a pass breakup.

The year 2011 season was Ansah's fourth year in school, but only third year of eligibility. He played sporadically on third downs as a defensive end or outside linebacker, recording seven total tackles for the season.

In 2012, season Ansah resumed his role as a situation playe, but during week four, nose guard Eathyn Manumaleuna hurt his knee and Ansah took his place. Over the final nine games of the season, Ansah was third on the team in tackles (48), second in sacks (4.5) and first in tackles for loss (13).


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