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My path to the pros

Bengals DT Domata Peko recalls the days before he got paid to play

Originally Published: July 2, 2013
By Carmen R. Thompson | ESPN The Magazine

The beginning

I got my start playing peewee football in third grade in Los Angeles, and I played that for three years until we moved to Pago Pago, American Samoa, where I stopped playing. After we moved, I was just really into our church. My dad was a pastor, and I was helping him and playing music, so I was pretty busy. But I did play rugby, which is huge in Samoa. Volleyball is big there too, but it'd just be a thing we'd do, nothing organized or anything like that.

The ...

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