From the Bobcats to the Bisons, Pacome Matulu is preparing to tackle a new challenge this weekend in Winnipeg.
The third-year forward with the Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball team will take part in the Manitoba Bisons’ three-day spring football camp that begins Friday at the U of M.
Matulu, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 215 pounds, will try out as a linebacker, one of 116 veterans and rookie hopefuls slated to take part in the Bisons camp. The 24-year-old Montreal native is considering transferring from BU to U of M for academic purposes and could change sports, moving from the hardwood to the gridiron, without having to sit out a season.
"I am just going to try out for the football team and maybe transfer to Manitoba for academic purposes, because I want to do actuarial science (the study of mathematics associated with financial risk, particularly in insurance and finance) and I can’t do that in Brandon," Matulu said last night.
"So the spring camp is the start. (Bisons) coach (Brian) Dobie asked me to participate in the spring camp and just see how I like it and maybe then I can transfer to the Bisons team. But then again, nothing is set in stone yet. I am going to make a decision after the camp."
Matulu is going to the tryout with the blessing of Bobcats coach Gil Cheung, who knows Matulu has pretty much gone as far as he can academically at BU, considering the field he wants to study and work in.
"He is going out there just to see what it’s like, he hasn’t played (football) in a long time," Cheung said. "To be honest, we are trying to help him out school-wise, but we are just running out of classes for him to take. So we told him best of luck and if he likes it, great. And if he doesn’t, he has a spot with us."
Matulu last played football back in high school half a decade ago, but comes from a strong football family, with his first cousins Henoc and Cauchy Muamba both now members of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
"I’m coming from a background where my family played football … and I have family out here who play football who could help with the transition," said Matulu, who averaged 7.7 minutes, 1.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game while suiting up in 20 Canada West conference basketball games in 2012-13 for the Bobcats.
"I am expecting to be a little bit rusty because I didn’t play for a long time, but I’m pretty sure that I have the ability to pick it up quick and learn everything I need to learn. … After the camp, I will see."
EXTRA POINTS: Also taking part in the Bisons’ spring camp are Brandonites Nevin Gamblin and Sean Simpson, who just completed their first seasons on the offensive line at U of M … No 2013 Brandon high school seniors are taking part in the camp.