Long before he was sacking quarterbacks, Tamba Hali was facing bigger challenges. Learn about his life in this second book in a middle grade nonfiction series about the childhoods of your favorite athletes.
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali’s story seems almost unbelievable. He and his seven siblings fled war-torn Liberia to the Ivory Coast during his youth and later joined their father, a chemistry and physics professor, in New Jersey.
There Tamba played both basketball and soccer, but he didn’t discover football until a coach finally persuaded him to try out in high school. And the rest, as they say, was history. Tamba discovered that he had a real talent for it, landing him an athletic scholarship to Pennsylvania State University and a coveted spot on their football team.
Tamba went on to play in the NFL and finally brought his mother to the US from Liberia. His drive, dedication, and athletic ability are inspiring.
This is a great sports book that is so much more than a sports book. Tamba Hali became a professional football player in the United States but under the most unlikely circumstances. Tamba’s small village in Liberia was overtaken by civil war (a war with weapon carrying child soldiers) when he was only six. His father made his way to the U.S. and after years of paperwork brought his children over but Tamba’s mom was left behind in Africa. At the age of ten (soon to be 11) Tamba is suddenly in a strange country, experiencing PTSD, has a new stepmom, and can not read or write. A story of astonishing proportions told in 126 pages.
“Villages that were safe one day were hot spots the next. Passing through them was like running a race where the finish line kept changing on you.”