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VYPE Exclusive: The Story of Bubacarr Jobe

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]( sometimes it seems that so much is wrong in sports and inside the high school hallways, a story comes along that is so right.

The story of Bubacarr Jobe is right as rain.

Three years ago, “Buba” Jobe arrived in the United States from The Gambia in Africa. His family couldn’t really afford him and his lifeline was his soccer club, who basically raised him.

The link for Jobe and America was Kekuta Manneh of the Vancouver Whitecaps professional team. Manneh got the States and trained with Rush Soccer in The Woodlands, and had a best friend who could play as well. That was “Buba.”

Buba’s journey to the country was a long one. It took a year to get him on a plane to America. He took five planes, which lost his luggage, and arrived in Houston with nothing. Literally nothing.

He lived a short time with a Rush “host” family, but suffered an ACL injury within the first few weeks playing on U.S. soil.

“After his injury and his surgery, we felt like we wanted to bring him into our home and help him get the right medical attention and correct rehab,” Rush CEO and technical director Don Gemmell said. “We didn’t have children, so it was very new for us to have a 16-year-old living with us. He’s been a breath of fresh air and a blessing to us.”

Some of the smallest luxuries that everyone takes for granted, were new to “Buba”.

“He has totally enriched our lives,” Brooke Gemmell said. “When we first got him, some of the cultural differences were interesting. Hot water was a big deal for him. So was electricity. He had never been to a doctor or a dentist in his life. He was shocked to see domestic dogs living in peoples’ houses.

“Using a knife and fork was new to him,” he said. “He hadn’t been to school since he was 13-years-old, and putting him into The Woodlands High School was a culture shock.”

The Gemmells made it official nearly a year ago, adopting “Buba” with hopes of assisting this rare talent to live out his dreams.

“It’s hard to explain how this happened, but I’m so grateful for being here,” he said. “It’s like I’m living a dream. Yes my dream is to play professional soccer, but I feel blessed already.”

Arriving onto a campus like The Woodlands as the new kid in town sends shockwaves through the hallways. Especially when the kid is a future professional soccer talent.

“Buba” is a junior and led The Woodlands Highlanders to a national ranking entering the playoffs this season. He became the all-time leading scorer for the Highlander soccer program, but will not be able to play next season due to his age. The Highlanders fell in the regional semis to McKinney Boyd in an upset, 2-1, paving the way for Boyd to reach the state tourney. Jobe was held out for over 20 minutes during the game. Hit the link for highlights provided by the KUBE:

“On the field, he’s so unselfish,” Don said. “He cares about everyone else first. He could have scored more goals but he doesn’t want to be considered a ball hog. He has just wanted to be part of a team. That has been so important to him.”

When he does score, he makes it a point to look up in the crowd for his mom to give her a wave.

“Buba” plans to graduate high school next year and will have dozens of opportunities to play college soccer anywhere in the country. But will he wait that long? He will have the skills to play professionally when he walks the stage at The Woodlands.

“He scored five goals in the Under 20 National Championships, won the tournament MVP and the Golden Boot for most goals,” Don, who has developed 17 professional soccer players said. “He’s a pro, no-brainer. But everyone is an injury away from never playing again. He has all the qualities from the technique to the mental game and teams want him now.”

As everything is falling into place, the Gemmells are in the process of helping Buba obtain his green card, so he can take advantage of all that this country has to offer.

The Woodlands High School - Soccer
The Woodlands High School - Soccer
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