greatness runs in the family
5th brother to suit up for Vanier
Arpon Basu, Freelance
printed in Gazette of September 19, 2007)
When you're the youngest
of seven children and all four of your older brothers played
football, with one making it all the way to the NFL, it would
appear to be a given that you would be dying to strap on the
pads and follow in their footsteps.
But that wasn't the case
for Rémi Biakabutuka.
Biakabutuka was only 4 years
old when his brother, Tim, left home for the University of Michigan
before moving on to a six-year career at running back with the Carolina
Tim Biakabutuka used
Vanier College as his launching pad to the world of big-time U.S.
college football, and his three younger brothers Beya, Joseph
and Elie followed him to the St. Laurent football factory.
But when it came time
for Rémi Biakabutuka to choose a high school, football
was more of an afterthought.
"At first, I didn't
want to play football," he said at his family's Boucherville
home. "It didn't really interest me."
Biakabutuka has sparked the Cheetahs'
offence this season, running 52 times for 192
yards and scoring a league-high two touchdowns.
Biakabutuka's mother, Marceline
Misenga, had first-hand knowledge of what kinds of doors football can
open for a young man educationally, and she encouraged her youngest
child to at least give the sport a shot.
It only took one hour before
Biakabutuka was sold.
"As soon as I put on
my helmet and pads, I loved it," he said. "I loved the contact,
the strategy, everything. I was hooked."
After spending his
first year on the bench at Longueuil's École secondaire
Jacques Rousseau, Biakabutuka excelled at running back in Grade
8 and decided he would give football everything he had.
"The example my
brother gave me, that if I work hard I can get really far, that
helped," he said. "I saw how it can open doors for you,
at least in terms of an education, so I decided to go for it.
It became more of a lifestyle than a sport."
the fifth member of his family to suit up at Vanier last season,
but he spent most of it watching from the sidelines as his team
rolled to the Bol d'Or title.
the game VS F.X. Garneau on September 15th, it takes two of the
opposing defenders to bring down the hard-charging Rémi
This year, however, Biakabutuka
has been the offensive engine for Vanier - the only undefeated team
in the provincial AAA collegiate football league with a 3-0 record -
rushing for 192 yards on a whopping 52 carries with a league-high two
"He's been the
sparkplug for us," said Vanier head coach Peter Chryssomalis.
As opposed to his older
brother Tim, who was a bruising, north-south kind of runner, Rémi
Biakabutuka likes to make would-be tacklers miss, and he's been
doing a lot of that this season. He hopes to use those talents
to land a scholarship in the US, but first he wants to enjoy his
time at Vanier.
"I hear everyone say
how they want to make the NFL, but I want to take it step by step and
just studying in the States would be great," Rémi said.
"But for now, I want to concentrate on my studies, my training
and having fun with my team."
The Gazette (Montreal) 2007
churns up the yardage VS Lennoxville Cougars on September 1st
all about Rémi's brother Tshimanga Biakabutuka and his exploits
in a career
that led all the way from Vanier Cheetahs to the Carolina Panthers in
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