Fritchard Mulenga's individual photo during the team's picture day. (Photo courtesy MCC Athletics)

Meet Frichard Mulenga, a MCC two sport student-athlete

For many athletes, the most people know about them is the number on their backs, the color of their uniforms, and their talent for the sport they play. It’s easy to forget that each of them have their own challenges to overcome outside of the sport they play. 

A shining example of this is two-sport student athlete Fritchard Mulenga. Born in Kitwe, Zambia, his journey to MCC is just as impressive as being a two-sport athlete itself.

“I taught somebody how to play tennis, and then they came here first. ” Mulega said. “I never had plans on coming here to play tennis here, but this person reached out to me and said with your level of understanding of the sport, it would mean so much to you.”

He was sent a link to apply to MCC, and was accepted, along with being accepted into other schools in Missouri and Pennsylvania. He picked Mesa because his friend was already here.

“He recommended me to the coach, and the coach showed so much interest in me. That’s how I got here. It’s just me and my friend here” Mulenga recalled.

According to his bio on the MCC sports website, Mulenga competed in the World Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia in 2019, and worked two different jobs on top of this as well. He also briefly mentioned that during this whole process, he ended up having to undergo brain surgery.

By getting through all of those things, that would be enough for some people to label him as one of the hardest working people ever. People like that don’t let anything come between them and their dreams.

What makes this all the more incredible is the amount of work he still puts in to this day at MCC.

If you are, or have been, a student athlete, you can attest to the workload and stress that comes with it. Managing schoolwork and making sure you do not fall behind and lose eligibility, taking care of yourself mentally and physically, and even trying to manage a social life on top of that. It can be an absolute nightmare for some to take on. 

So imagine doing two sports. while being thousands of miles from home. While also having a job on campus.

“I work with Student Life, but I’m also an athlete.”, Mulenga explained. “Early mornings I work, at a certain time I have to go in for class and then afterwards I go to the library to work on assignments. I dedicate my late afternoons and evenings to sports, and it’s been working pretty well for me.”

He went on to detail his schedule for sports: 4:30 p.m. he has tennis practice. He takes an hour to recover afterwards, and then goes to soccer practice from around 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Day in and day out, the amount of discipline it takes to undertake a workload like this cannot be understated. It’s a constant grind everyday to be able to keep up with such rigors. You can imagine that this is something he has done for years, going back to his work in Zambia.

All of the early morning wake ups, the days working multiple jobs, the two a day practices are all preparing Mulenga for his main goal of coming stateside, becoming a pro athlete, and obtaining his college degree.

“That’s my main goal”, Mulenga answered when asked about this, “to play as much as I can, get my experience and improve everything that I’m working on. I’m actually already on my way to becoming semi-pro really soon. Tryouts are in spring next year, and hopefully I am selected for any of the fields.”

Fritchard Mulenga is someone who’s hard work should not go unnoticed. For most people, he has already lived a full life. Participating in major events, traveling the world, competing in multiple levels in multiple sports, and on top of all that, looking to constantly make a better life for himself.

Author

  • Keythin Thomas

    Keythin is a journalism major and is an avid sports fan. He has lived and breathed valley sports since he was in preschool. When not pouring over stat sheets or the latest sports, he enjoys watching movies, playing video games, and hanging out with friends and family.