Loves to Play Football, Born To Be a Doctor

When Oluwadamilola Akinola Olalekun Ayoola Teniola or simply Dami first came to  America he did not know how it would be or what his future held for him. Fourteen years later he is a starting linebacker for the Gardner-Webb Runnin Bulldogs wearing #51, an honor student with a 4.0, and on his way to medical school. This wasn’t how he always thought it would be though as he stated on the ride to COOKOUT, a fast-food restaurant he often frequents. “When I moved here in 1996 I couldn’t speak English and had to be moved from the 3rd grade to the 2nd grade because I couldn’t understand my teachers.” He went on to say that he became fluent in English by 4th grade and began to play football in 5th grade. “I believe football really helped me come out of my shell a little and begin to make friends.” Dami said, before ordering his food. When asked how he arrived at Gardner-Webb University he smiled burger in hand as if reminiscing about his choice. “ Well I was going to UGA for pre med but Gardner-Webb offered me a scholarship for football so I came here cause it was cheaper.” On the ride back he spoke of how his family and football career helped influence his dream to become a doctor. “My father was a doctor back in Nigeria and my mother also had a Ph.D. and they threw all that away so me, my brothers and sisters could have a better life.”  He then began to tell me that if you were a doctor in another country you have to start over once you come to America. “When we first arrived here we lived in someone’s basement with only one bed and my parents had to work minimum wage jobs to support us while starting their education over.” His father is now a doctor of internal medicine and his mother is a nurse. After he graduates he wants to attend Morehouse Medical School to become a surgeon.  “I would like to do something with knee surgery because I have been through alot with my own knee.  I feel I’d be giving back, but in the end it doesn’t matter as long as I’m a doctor.” The biology major has an older sister who is a radiologist, an older brother already attending Morehouse Medical School, and a younger sister who is pre med at UGA.

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