Hard work, self-belief got me to NFL: Canadian Bilukidi

Ottawa native Christo Bilukidi. (File photo)

Ottawa native Christo Bilukidi. (File photo)

TIM BAINES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:42 PM ET

It’s okay for young athletes to have a dream.

It’s okay for them to think about one day playing football or hockey or basketball or baseball or golf or tennis — really any sport — at the highest possible level.

Sure, there are sacrifices to be made, but Christo Bilukidi is an example of a kid who beat the odds. He wanted something, worked hard, then reached out and made his dream happen.

“You have to eat the criticism,” said the 24-year-old Bilukidi, a defensive lineman for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.

“If people keep saying no, don’t even try to justify yourself, just say, ‘Okay, that’s fine.’ And you just keep going on, doing what you have to do.”

Bilukidi knows what he’s talking about. He had plenty of doubters along his path to the NFL.

Not so long ago, Bilukidi was a hefty kid who didn’t even play football at St. Patrick High School. He played for the OVFL’s Cumberland Panthers and NCAFA’s Ottawa Colts.


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