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University of Hawaii performs the Ha‘a in Denver for injured teammate

Naotala is rehabbing in Denver

Kalepo Naotala, who was an incoming freshman all set to join the University of Hawaii football team, was left with a severe spinal cord injury after a diving accident in Honolulu on July 1st.

Since his injury Naotala has been rehabbing at Denver’s globally renowned rehabilitation center, Craig Hospital.

In August, after learning that he was in the area, Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre and a contingent of Polynesian players including Lyle Tuiloma, Eric Klemmer, and Jaisen Sanchez visited Naotala at Craig and later invited him to attend the Rocky Mountain Showdown as their guests.

Thursday morning, two days before Hawaii’s game against Wyoming in Laramie, the entire traveling football contingent, players and support staff included, traveled to Craig to visit with Naotala. Before hitting the road to start preparation for the game against the Cowboys, the team performed the traditional Ha‘a dance. It was an awesome moment for everyone involved.

Stories like this remind you of the lifetime bond and brotherhood that is formed between athletes.