Ahead of his seventh season in the National Football League and second with the Las Vegas Raiders, Hawaii’s Marcus Mariota is soaking up summer time under the Hawaiian sun this week headlined by hosting the annual Motiv8 Foundation charity golf tournament at the O’ahu Country Club.
The former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Oregon has continuously made his charitable work in the islands an offseason staple. His foundation has been heavily involved in programs that support homelessness, education, athletics, and health care so it should come as not surprise that his golf event which has raised thousands of dollars over the years towards charitable efforts is among the events that Mariota looks forward to most.
“We are here today because of the generosity and the support of so many people and we’re grateful that after a year off we get to be able to do this,” Mariota told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
Mariota says the personal appeal of the event is pretty simple being that a day outside nestled between the lush Waolani & Nu’uanu Valley Mountains involves two of his favorite things, helping his home state and the game of golf.
“It’s a fun event. Get to meet a lot of good people, good times, and that’s what it’s about. At the same time, the amount of support, the generosity that people have towards our foundation, I hope they realize that they are making an impact in this community and that’s a token of our appreciation and I’m just happy to be able to do it.”
According to Marcus, he picked up golf in his junior year at the University of Oregon and slowly got more and more dedicated to the game over the years, admitting that in the last couple of years it has approached an obsession.
“Aside from Sandy Beach, aside from getting inside the water, it’s kind of my little sanctuary. I enjoy the competitive aspect of it as well, but at the same time for four hours I kind of get to separate myself from the world, the busyness of football and get to just kind of relax and golf has provided me an escape and I do enjoy it a lot,” said Mariota.
Certainly, beyond enjoying a day of golf and fundraising, Monday starts an important time of the year for Mariota as he aims to soak up as much time with family, friends, and the island culture ahead of another season in the NFL. Marcus appeared in one game last season passing for 226 yards and a touchdown and ran for 88 yards and another score against the Chargers as most of the year was used to get healthy as the backup to longtime Raiders QB Derek Carr.
“It gives me that opportunity to engulf myself around people who not only have sacrificed but have got me where I’m at today and I think that motivation not only helps me moving forward but it helps me get ready to go for this training before we get the season started, so I’m just excited to be here. I’m excited to be around people that I love and as we move forward, there’s a lot of people making a lot of great donations to this foundation and I’m just very appreciative of it.”
Mariota and the Las Vegas Raiders will open training camp next month with the preseason schedule starting on August 14 against the Seattle Seahawks. The regular season opener is slated for Monday, September 13 against Baltimore in Las Vegas.
As part of the Motiv8 Foundation event, the winners of the annual Ardel Deppe Community Coaches Awards were announced with Kaiser’s Tim Seaman and Sean and Bernie Camarillo of the Waipio Youth Football Club. Winners annually receive a commemorative Ardel Deppe Riddell Helmet, Koa Wood plaque and $5000 in Riddell football equipment.
For more information on the Motiv8 Foundation, click here.