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“All I asked for was an opportunity and the Alouettes offered me one”
Kean Harelimana expected to be selected at the last CFL Canadian Draft. He spoke with his agent the day before and he was optimistic about him. The 24-year-old had warned parents and friends not to miss this rendez-vous on TSN and on the web. He wanted to remember this beautiful day and made sure it would be forever engrave in his and his loved ones’ memories. He sat quietly at his house in Quebec City with his girlfriend and never heard his name. A disappointment for this athlete who had three good seasons with the Université Laval Rouge et Or, including a Vanier Cup championship in 2018.
“Yes I was expecting to be drafted and I was disappointed with the result. That night, I did not sleep well. But Danny Maciocia’s phone call changed everything the next day. All I asked for was an opportunity and the Alouettes offered me one”.
Following the draft, each CFL team can acquire the rights of two players who will not be counted in the roster at training camp and Kean was one of the team’s choices.
Kean joins his brother Brian, drafted by Danny Maciocia in 2020. This means that for the first time, the two brothers will have the chance to play together in the professionals. “There are 24 Quebecers, it’s incredible what management is building, the guys are going to give everything for the city, we all feel pride, it’s a big feeling”.
The last time the Harelimana brothers wore the same jersey in football was for one year at Laval’s Curé-Antoine-Labelle high school and for two years at the Vanier CEGEP.
Kean had the pleasure of facing his brother in college during games between the Université de Montreal and Université Laval. “These meetings are fairly high-profile from all points of view. There are good crowds on both sides, and everybody talks about these games when the week comes. It’s big for university students. It was more than a game against my brother!”
Kean, who just finished his BA in business administration in April, is currently working in insurance. Immediately after work, he puts the energy in the gym. “Until camp I put my efforts on what I can control. I focus on myself and not on the other players who will be at camp. It would be great to be able to play with my brother but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.”