The Washington Times - August 5, 2009, 05:15PM

Some snippets in a package of game notes just stand out more than others.

And when I noticed that Navy left guard Osei Asante “would be a prince in the Ashanti Kingdom if it still existed,” well that seemed like something worth asking the Midshipmen’s offensive captain about.

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The explanation was pretty simple. His dad’s great-great-grandfather was the king. So based on hereditary lineage, his dad would be the king if the empire that stretched from present-day central Ghana into what is now Togo and Cote D’Ivoire.

That, in turn, would make him a prince.

And every now and then, it comes up when someone other than a blogger asks him about it.

“We were in Western civilization class and there was a map of Africa and I saw my name in there so i pointed to [left tackle] Austin Milke, who was sitting right next to me,” Asante said. “He just decided to blurt out in front of the entire class ‘Osei’s a prince, he has his own kingdom.’”

Surely, that’s just what Asante wanted everyone to know. But it is an intriguing off-the-field facet to a player who will be vital to the Mids’ running game this year after appearing in every game last season and playing for much of the Army-Navy game in place of the injured Anthony Gaskins.

While Asante won’t be presiding over large swaths of land any time soon, he has visited his family’s homeland before. He traveled to Ghana in 1996 with his parents and 1998 with his father.

He was 10 or 11 during the latter trip, still not quite old enough to appreciate it as much as he would now.

“When you’re young you don’t understand what’s going on,” Asante said. “You’re just going to see the sights. It’s hot. You just want to go home and be with your friends. Now it would be a lot different because I’m 22, I’ve seen some other parts of the world and I see things a lot different. It would be a better experience now.”

Patrick Stevens