Maema Njongmeta’s success rooted in faith, football and family
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Before Wisconsin linebacker Maema Njongmeta was leading the Badgers with nine tackles so far this season, he endured three straight seasons of battling injuries.
Through the times of doubt and frustration, and now in his success, Njongmeta said his parents Leo and Lynda were always there for him.
During Wisconsin’s 66-7 victory over New Mexico State, Njongmeta had his first career interception, and continues to prove why he’s a playmaker on Wisconsin’s defense.
“They just learned football recently so everything is still new to them,” Njongmeta said. “But they were really excited an interception is an interception so they were excited.”
Njongmeta and his family moved from Cameroon in 2004 so his mom could get her PhD at Texas A&M University. Njongmeta said football was never really on in his house growing up, but his parents started to pay attention when he started getting playing time his junior year of high school.
“Friday night lights after the game me and my teammates would always go out and eat and I remember coming back home at 1 a.m. and I went and knocked on my parents door to tell them I’m home and my mom wakes up from her sleep and she’s like ‘yeah real quick just tell me what happened in this play’,” Njongmeta said. “But other that they’ve been pretty good now ever since college they pretty much know the rules.”
A now turned football family that Njongmeta said is rooted in faith. He and his mom both pray together every Friday before a game, whether it’s in person or on the phone.
“She was flying out so she called me on the plane before they took off,” Njongmeta said. “She’s talking and they’re giving the safety video.”
While Njongmeta said his focus for now is football, he knows that when his time on the field does come to an end, his parents will be there to support whatever he decides to pursue next.
“They’d drive two hours to go see me in the state science fair,” Njongmeta said. “I was in band at one point they got me trumpet tutors and made time out of their busy schedules, they’ve always been invested now it’s just football. And I’m sure when it’s not football it’ll be something else and they’re there for it.”
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