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The Agbortabis: A Family of Sports Stars!

by Lesley Ngwa
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The name Agbortabi rings a bell, right? One of the most popular families in South West Cameroon, the Agbortabis are also carving a niche for themselves in European and American sports. Based in Italy and Germany, they have been capturing the hearts and minds of many thanks to their outstanding performances in various sporting domains. From athletics to basketball and American football to volleyball, the Agbortabis are definitely raising the Cameroonian flag high.

Rebecca Agbortabi is a double gold medalist in the cadet category of the 2021 Italian National athletetics finals. She created an all-time Italian number 2 record, becoming the second fastest woman in the U-16 300 metres track and field events. She ran 39.10 and was just a few millimetres shy from breaking the all time record that was created in 2012.

Today, Rebecca who is U-18 is the phase of the competition that is taking place this weekend. Maxi posters carrying the young star’s photos are found along major streets of the city. In fact, pundits have tipped the Cameroonian-Italian as the world’s potential champion if she continues with such outstanding performances. Worthy to note is the fact that Rebecca recently won bronze in the 200 meters category of the Italian under 18 inter-clubs national finals that took place in Rieti.

“In spite of a severe back injury as a result of her hard training, she arrived as the 3rd best Italian under 18 fastest woman in the 200m series”, her father St. John Agbortabi told the GP.

Apart from Rebecca Agbortabi, another man making the Agbortabis and Cameroon in general proud is young Ricardo Agbortabi. Born on October 19, 2000, the power forward plays for the Italian basketball club Piacenza basket.
6-foot-7 Ricardo Agbortabi averages 21 points, 12 rebounds and 1 assist, and is one of the cartographic figures of his club.

“Ricardo has never hidden his admiration for Cameroon and is not ruling out the possibility of representing the green red yellow flag one day”, said his father.

Emanuela Agbortabi is another shining star who is fast making a name for herself in Italian volleyball. She moved over to the Italian Serie A2 from one of the best volleyball clubs in the World, Imougou, to play for Perugia Volleyball club this season. Young Emanuela was recently profiled by Italy’s prestigious newspaper, Tribuna. She was part of the U-18 Italian national team.

“My daughter Emanuela is also on the fence watching very closely and nobody knows what the future is going to tell. But obviously they have some interest in Cameroon”. St. John Agbortabi added.

Their father, 53 years old St. John Agbortabi was born and bred in Cameroon to the famous Agbortabi family before he moved over to Europe. He is a passionate lover of sports and a breathtaking dancer. Their mother, Volha Ahbortabi, is Belarusian and they are all based in Italy.

Over in Germany, St. John Agbortabi’s elder brother Agbortabi Ephraim is also a father to some great prospects in the World of sports. His daughter, Vanessa Agbortabi, is a glittering star in the volleyball fraternity. 23 years old Vanessa recently secured a lucrative deal with Turkish top tier Volleyball club Belediyespor. She moved from German outfit Rote Raben Vilsbiburg.

Vanessa has taken part in different international competitions notably the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship, the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship, and the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Nations League. Vanessa Agbortabi represents Germany.

Her brother Louis Agbortabi plies his trade in the American football and is a great prospect. Vanessa’s other brother, Joshua Agbortabi, is a basketball player but is currently injured.

Here is a family that’s excelling in the sports world and making Cameroon proud unnoticed by very many people back at home.

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