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PROVO — Ziggy Ansah comes from a country where football is foreign.
But the Pro Bowl defensive end for the Detroit Lions brought the sport he loves back to his home land of Ghana — with a little bit of help from fellow former BYU and NFL star Chad Lewis.
“He said he wanted to do a football camp in Ghana, and I said, ‘I’m in,’” Lewis told KSL Sports. “When we were finally in Ghana, he said he didn’t believe me. But he believed.”
Ansah was a shy student athlete at BYU, and the statistics graduate doesn’t do a lot of media interviews.
But in his home country, the reserved football player opened up unlike anything Lewis had seen before.
“Seeing how comfortable he was in his hometown, with his people, was so cool,” the All-Pro tight end said. “He opened up, and he had to speak to those people; it was his camp.”
Ansah began the camp with the basics of American football: holding the football, catching and a few basic rules. But once the Ghanaian children had the basics, the camp ran like a well-oiled machine, Lewis said.
And the joy it brought to Ansah in his homeland was greater than any athletic benefit provided to the Lions or BYU.
“I’m proud of the way he treats people," Lewis said. "He goes into Ghana as the light of BYU. He takes love in his heart to his own people.
“To see him give back, I’m very proud of him. He’s an innocent kid, and to see him have the passion to want to give back — I told him, thank you, bro; keep it up.”