This CFL off-season has been overly busy for the Redblacks and after coming off of a 3-15 season a year ago they wanted to improve. Starting with free agency and then moving forward with the draft they were able to get a number of Canadian stars.
Among their off-season additions is Ottawa native Dan Basambombo. Basambombo was drafted by Ottawa with the 19th overall selection in this years CFL draft. Being from the city, he was actually brought in with the team’s territorial selection that was given to the Redblacks for being one of the last place teams in the 2019 campaign.
Coming back to the city he was raised in, Basambombo is more than excited to play in Ottawa at the professional level. He comments, “I’ve been away from Ottawa, being at Laval I never even played against Ottawa teams so now being drafted by Ottawa it feels better. I now get to play in front of my family and friends and I think that gives me a little extra motivation and an extra push on the field.”
Its a good feeling to be drafted by his hometown team but Dan Basambombo isn’t going to have a roster spot given to him, the Redblacks have a good group of linebackers and he will have a big challenge in taking a spot from one of them, “I have a lot of skills… The coaches at Laval made me pro-ready, and I feel like I’m a player that can learn a lot and make a difference on the field.” When asked more about his situation he mentions, “I’ve been training and putting the work in. My athletic abilities can speak for themselves, many can talk about it but I like letting my play on the field speak for themselves.”
The group of linebackers that Basambombo will be with are great, there is Avery Williams, Kevin Brown and Jerod Fernandez coming back from last season and the to add to the group are two CFL veterans in both Don Unamba and Christophe Mulamba. When training camp is up and running following the coronavirus pandemic Dan Basambombo will be ready to learn and get better with the presence of these players, “I’m thankful. I’m in the right situation, with a lot of experience around me and I’m excited to learn about the professional game from these guys who have had impacts in the league. Its my job to ask questions and let the big brother system make me a better player. I might be good now but I want to improve and these guys can help with that.”
When looking onto the Redblacks depth chart, with all of the veterans around it will be tough for Basambombo to get a starting spot anytime soon but when he does get on the field fans should be excited, “I’ve got passion. There’s no there other player that can match my passion.” he comments, “I’m a community guy, I’m willing to give back to the city on and off the field. On the field I might not be a starter right away but I want to be a part of the team and the city. I love where I’m from and to have the chance to be back in the city, I’m going to put my sweat and tears into this city.”
The Redblacks have seen a number of great community players over the years, there’s a group of guys like Alex Mateas and Sherrod Baltimore and Dan Basambombo is going to be up on that list as well. He goes to say, “I want to be more than a football player or an athlete. I want to do more than whats expected of me, not just for my personal benefits but for my city. I love my city, and everybody around me will benefit. I want to use my platform to do good and I’m excited to get started.”