Arizona Cardinals sign NFL IPP’s Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi from Nigeria

The Arizona Cardinals have signed NFL International Pathway Program (IPP) player Haggai Chisom Ndubisi ahead of the NFL’s 2022 Draft in April.

The 6’9,” 290-pound offensive lineman first appeared in Abuja, Nigeria, at The Uprise Academy after being invited by former NBA star Ejike Ugboaja Ugboaja runs The Uprise in tandem with Super Bowl winning and two-time Pro Bowler Osi Umenyiora through his outreach program, the Ejike Foundation.

Ndubuisi immediately shone in Abuja, not only due to his sheer size and strength but also his quick feet and surprising athleticism for a big man. The 21-year-old began his football career in 2017 when he was noticed by American coaches at a basketball all-star game in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ndubuisi was unable to find success or recognition in the initial stages of his transition from basketball to football due to there being no formal league in Nigeria at the time. The young Lagosian almost gave up the dream and went back to street hawking before the call came from The Uprise.

After a grueling six months of training with Umenyiora, Ndubuisi, along with two other attendees, were invited to London for the NFL’s IPP. Ndubuisi immediately caught the attention of the scouts and media. It was therefore no surprise when the young man’s name was announced on Twitter as a participant in the program this year in Arizona.

And now, a world away, the young Nigerian has been picked up by the Arizona Cardinals before the IPP culminates, showing what an impressive specimen he really is. He will be joining the likes of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins in the Copper State.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.