This wasn’t the year that Henoc Muamba was expecting, but the 2019 Most Outstanding Canadian player is rolling with the punches.
Muamba expected that he’d retire a Montreal Alouette, he told Donnovan Bennett on this week’s edition of The Waggle. Muamba had spent the last two seasons with the Als, in addition to playing for them in 2015. But things change quickly in the world of football and that’s a lesson that Muamba has known from the time he came into the league in 2011.
When things didn’t work out with the Als this winter in free agency, Muamba took his time to make the best decision for himself. On March 16, he landed with his hometown team, the Toronto Argonauts.
A familiar Argos’ face played a key role in Muamba joining the Argos.
“Coming home was a huge part of it, my family was a huge part of it and then I think the icing on the cake for me truly was the conversations I had with Pinball throughout the whole process,” Muamba said of Argos’ GM Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons.
“He’s been a mentor of mine for some time even before he came back to the Double Blue. He’s somebody that I admire extremely. I’ve always leaned on him for a lot of different things over the course of my career and it only made sense for me to come back. He’s somebody that I love to be around, I love learning from, I love hearing from, period.
“If I could even say when it’s all said and done for me that I’ve accomplished a quarter of the things that he’s accomplished on and off the field I’d be a happy guy.”
The off-the-field portion of that equation has always been just as important to Muamba. He recently partnered with the Peel District school board to provide mentorship to students in the area that he grew up in.
“Every business has a mission statement. What is the purpose for that business? And (my wife and I) established not just for our marriage but both of our existence, our mission statement is going to be to grow and help grow,” Muamba said.
“This is really the help-grow portion of it. I’m a product of some help that I’ve received along the way. I love mentorship. We got the conversation started with the Peel District School Board…(to reach) at-risk kids too, to grow a little bit and incentivize them to continue to focus. It’s all about mentorship and it’s all about trying to help others grow.”
When the season gets going, Muamba will be a part of arguably the most interesting team in the CFL. A decorated veteran at this point in his career, he’ll be a leader in a locker room that will be full of many new and talented faces. Muamba went to a Michael Jordan quote to gauge his team’s potential this year.
“The ceiling is the roof, man,” he said.
“I’m going to be selfish and I’m going to think about myself at this very moment and I love every name that I’ve seen (on the roster), but the guys that I’m the most excited about, because they will impact me the most as a linebacker are the guys that are going to be in front of me.
“They’re just going to make my life super easy, man. They’re going to make me look better than people might think. I’m excited, man, from the Drake Nevis’ the (Cordaro) Laws and Charleston (Hughes). We’ve got some guys in front of me, some dogs. Cam (Judge) and I are going to have some fun times back there.”
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