Gbaja-Biamila finds the strength to help his team

In the days leading up to the Packers' Sunday night game vs. the Minnesota Vikings, coach Mike Sherman didn't know if he'd have the services of standout defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, and the coach wasn't pressing his player for a decision.<P> Gbaja-Biamila spent most of last week in California, joining his family after the death of his mother.<P>

Bola Tito Anjorin Gbaja-Biamila, 53, was killed a week ago in Los Angeles when her car struck a tree. She was returning home from helping a friend when the accident happened. Tragically, her death occurred just hours after Gbaja-Biamila became a father for the first time. He and his wife Eileen had a son on Dec. 1.

Coach Sherman sent Gbaja-Biamila home to LA with his blessings. It was up to the San Diego State product whether or not he'd return this weekend.

Gbaja-Biamila and his family decided the defensive lineman would return to Green Bay in time for Sunday's game. He ended up perhaps saving the game with a sack of Daunte Culpepper late in the fourth quarter.

I thought 'I don't know how I'm going to do this,' " Gbaja-Biamila said after the game. "I asked God to give me strength to go out there and try to help my team.

"God answered my prayers and gave me the strength to go out and play," Gbaja-Biamila said.

Gbaja-Biamila had six tackles and the sack in his team's win over the Vikings.

Gbaja-Biamila shared his thoughts about his mother's life:

"She's going to be dearly missed," Gbaja-Biamila said from the family's home in south-central Los Angeles. "She was always trying to help somebody and that's what she was doing when she died."

"She was a servant to people," Gbaja-Biamila said of his mother. "She was Christian and my father (Mustapha) is Muslim. Both have a value system based on helping others. My dad told her 'You've got to get some rest," and she said, "I've got to go help.' "

The accident occurred near the home where the Nigerian-born couple raised their seven children, including Kabeer and his twin sister Kubrat.

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