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Hawaii Football with Manti Te’o and the Downtown Athletic Club

Sitting at the Hukilau Restaurant in the Executive Centre, football was the only thing on my mind. Growing up, my sports were basketball and tennis, and currently, I play golf at some of the most beautiful courses on the island, and when I leave, I snowboard at some of the most majestic scenes I’ve never imagined. 

Football was on my mind, because it was literally right in front of me. I had never heard of Manti Te’o, until one of my friends mentioned him to me and described him as “humble, intelligent, and one of the best players of our time.” This, of course, piqued my interest and we decided to go.

My friend and Notre Dame fan, Doug, and I with Manti Te'o

So Downtown to the Hukilau I went. The Downtown Athletic Club spared no list of adorational remarks towards Manti, as he was introduced to the club and spoke just after his best friend, teammate, Notre Dame kicker, Robby Toma. Both were so inspirational. I loved how humble Manti was and how he attributed a lot of the honor he’s received to Robby, his family, and friends.  

Meeting Manti Te'o

I have never seen a more loved and humbled athlete, other than the recent Jeremy Lin. He spoke poetry, literally! And also about how he got where he is today; how he was about to give up, wanted to come home, but trudged on through, even with the punches his coach delivered him…he rolled with it. Notre Dame runs through his blood now, just as Hawaii still does.

It’s spectacular to see one of these greats in person, partly because of his humility, but also because of his quiet strength, love, respect, and honor for the people who helped mold his amazing character. He appears happy, living his dream. Most importantly, he showed even greater happiness in achieving his goals, working hard through hardship with perseverance, and becoming a wonderful person.

When I think of Manti Te’o, I remember this quote from William Arthur Ward, “Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.”

It was such an honor to meet him. I have met Archie Griffin in person (football great of my Dad’s time, they both went to Ohio State), but even the two time Heismann Trophy winner is getting a run for his money with not only an amazing football player, but an amazing person.  

One of the key events in my Manti Te’o experience was watching my friend, Doug, ask for his email address, and Manti looked to his mother, who nodded. By no means is Manti a “Momma’s Boy,” but he was respectful, dutiful, and loving. His parents truly have made a “family man” out of Manti. It was an amazing experience! I can only imagine, like everyone else, what the future holds for a great man.

Manti Te’o NFL Draft Decision

Caron A. Ling is a Realtor, CRS and Teambuilder and has a listing in Executive Centre, where she met Manti Te’o. Let her know if you’d like more information at 808.753.7464.

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