Ties that bind: Ziggy's bond with LDS family in Ghana led him to BYU
“Is that what you are going to do?” Monica asked Ziggy one day.
“No. My brother thinks I joined the church because I want you to help me,” Ziggy told her. “I didn’t join the church because I wanted you to help me. I joined the church because I can see the gospel is true.”
While Elizabeth has been supportive of her son — she faithfully attended Ziggy’s school events and even his LDS baptism — Monica said some of Ziggy’s family members remain skeptical.
“They never liked Ezekiel’s decision to be with us,” she said. “I get scared that if Ezekiel doesn’t turn out well, this whole family will blame me. I took their son away from them and look what became of him. I am responsible. I still worry about him.”
The Opare family continually prays for Ziggy, and they hope for the best for him. They hope he’s true to himself and that he’s able to avoid the temptations and potential pitfalls that come with being a professional athlete. They want him to be a success — not just in the world’s eyes, but, more importantly, in the eyes of his country and in the eyes of his church.
“My only prayer is that he continues to stay a role model,” Opare Jr. said. “I recently sent him an email. I told him, ‘The media can be your friend, but it also can be your worst nightmare.’ He needs to represent himself well, and his country. He represents his nation and his religion. I think Ziggy understands that. The hope is that he keeps remembering that.”
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