It’s win and you’re in for the Miami Dolphins where in the final week of the NFL’s regular season against Buffalo, rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be the starter when the franchise looks to punch its first ticket into the postseason in four years.
The Saint Louis graduate isn’t the only player with Hawaii ties donning the aqua and orange these days, as former University of Hawaii wide receiver Marcus Kemp is on the practice squad and Kamehameha graduate Kamu Grugier-Hill is a linebacker and special teams ace.
For Grugier-Hill, he’s been on cloud nine as of late, having fulfilled a lifelong dream. Although, it has nothing to do with being a veteran in the NFL who was a pro bowl alternate in 2018, having won a Super Bowl title with the Eagles where he held captain status for two seasons. Instead, it was delivering on a promise that he made as a kid.
That promise was to one day put himself in a position to surprise his mom with a Cadillac and that’s exactly what he did on Christmas Day.
“Coming into when I was coming out into the draft and stuff, that was my main goal and this year, I just had time to really, 2020 was just crazy year in itself. I had time to really just reflect on everything and I knew it was time to reward my mom. She just deserves it all,” Grugier-Hill told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
“I wish I could give her more and I plan to give her more throughout the years but I’m just happy, it was a great feeling for sure.”
The delivery of his mother Elina’s Christmas present was a family effort. His sister drove to car over to their brother’s house where the family was opening gifts. When Elina was urged to walk outside the car was waiting for her wrapped in a bow.
Unfortunately, at the time of the surprise Kamu was on a flight from Miami to Las Vegas ahead of the Dolphins’ week 16 matchup against the Raiders, however, he was able to enjoy the moment thanks to text messages from the family.
“Literally, like thirty minutes before my sister was coming to my brother’s house with the car we were taking off to go to Vegas. When I landed, getting all those videos it was definitely special and I couldn’t sleep that night. I remember just watching the videos over and over again and just watching her reaction.”
Grugier-Hill has long credited his mother for the drive in his journey into the NFL. From only playing one year of high school football to starring at FCS level Eastern Illinois, she was always an inspiration to the hard work that was needed in order to reach his goals. A drive that he noticed from a young age.
“My mom was a beast man, she worked two to three jobs. She would come home late. The craziest thing was growing up we really had nothing, but she always made it feel like we had enough. She never told us no when it came to sports and stuff, and she made sure that we had a great childhood. Now me being an adult and living on my own especially so far from home, I see how selfless that is and I just hope one day I can be the parent that she was able to be for me,” added Grugier-Hill. “It was just amazing to see her reaction like that and just finally me being able to reward her for what she has done for me a little bit.”
Kamu and the Dolphins will face the Bills on Sunday at 8:00am HST on CBS.