Hawaii linebacker Scheyenne Sanitoa dies at 21 years of age

Local News

The University of Hawaii athletic department was devastated to share news that student-athlete Scheyenne Sanitoa had passed away yesterday at the age of 21.

“It’s with deep sorrow that we share the tragic news that Scheyenne Sanitoa, a student-athlete with our Rainbow Warrior football team, passed away yesterday at the age of 21. Scheyenne was a tremendous young man and we are devastated by this news.  

Earlier today, the football team was brought together to discuss the tragedy. Campus counselors were on hand and will continue to be available for all student athletes and staff to help with the healing process. 

It’s always heartbreaking to lose a member of our UH ohana, particularly when it’s one of our young student-athletes. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, his teammates, and to all those who knew and loved him.”

University of Hawaii Athletic Director David Matlin

Sanitoa was just 21 years old, entering his redshirt junior season as a linebacker for the Rainbow Warriors.

Cause of death of not has not been disclosed.

Scheyenne was like I said a kid that personified pride rock,” said RJ Hollis, a former teammate of Sanitoa and a Hawaii football analyst. “Every time I seen him whether I had pads on or didn’t, he had a smile on his face and he was giving everything he had. And I know personally how hard it always is to give what you got. But Scheyenne was someone who I for one know, always gave it and he always left it on the field. And I feel like his legacy will live even longer than he and some of his family expects.”

“I mean it’s hard for me to even put words to it. It was devastating to me and I haven’t even been in the locker room personally in a few years,” said Hollis. “Every time I seen Scheyenne he personified everything it was to be a good football player and a good teammate. Devastated is the best word to use because that’s what I was.”

Sanitoa was from American Samoa. Last season he had 21 solo tackles and played in 12 games while making his first two career starts.

We will update this story with any further information.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.