Chasing their dreams: 4 Mobile high school soccer players get chance to go pro


Four local high school teens are getting a chance to try out for a professional soccer team in Germany.

Three of those students go to Davidson and one attends Murphy High School.

"I'm very excited. It’s a big opportunity. I am really hoping I get lucky and make it and thanks to the coach for this opportunity. I actually never thought about it, but when they told us about it I was shocked,” says Claude Niyonizigiye.

They're inner city kids who are being taught soccer as a way off the streets with non-profit organization Soccer 4 Life. Their mentor is known as Coach Z. Their mission is to empower children to reach their full potential on and off the field.

"When I came here I was walking around the street. When Coach Z brought me here to Sage field playing soccer and stuff then I stayed off the streets, because I used to just walk up and down them," says Restin Kabambala.

"I asked him why he was out there, he said he was bored and was looking for something to do and that kind of broke my heart,” says Coach Zenzo Ndlovu.

Now, the kids look forward to kicking it on the field.

"I don't want to stop. I want to play for the rest of my life. I don't ever want to stop," says Claude Niyonizigiye.

"It made me realize how much I loved playing soccer and how much I want to become a professional at a young age," says DeMarcus Hawkins.

Their determination is a reflection of Coach Z's passion. He was a refugee from Africa who got a full ride scholarship to the University of Mobile and he wanted to give kids an opportunity to reach for the stars.

"I made up in my mind that I wasn’t going to allow the situations that held me back hold back another kid, and I wanted to be the bridge for other kids to cross," says Coach Zenzo Ndlovu.

His program has changed the lives of many young kids.

"It has really made me grow a lot, not just in soccer, but as a regular person. It taught me a lot. It taught us how to be responsible, be respectful and to be organized," says Egide Kagoma.

"It's amazing. I get a lot out of this. I go home and think about it how thankful I am for this opportunity and this community. Without this program I don't think I would pretty much be here right now or anywhere," says Claude Niyonizigiye.

Their success is something their coach is proud of.

"Just to see these kids go overseas and get on a plane was mind blowing let alone, these kids have never been outside the state of Alabama,” says Coach Zenzo Ndlovu.

Two of those teens are getting ready to go overseas for the tryout in just two weeks.

Good luck!