‘It’s really an honor’, Six former Rainbow Warriors return to Aloha Stadium for Hula Bowl on Sunday


Solomon Matautia

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For six recent Rainbow Warriors the Hula Bowl will provide an opportunity to represent the University of Hawaii one last time at Aloha Stadium.

Former Warriors Ikem Okeke, Solomon Matautia, Dayton Furuta, JoJo Ward, Jason-Matthew Sharsh, and Kaimana Padello will all suit up for Team Kai in the collegiate football all-star game featuring seniors from around the country this Sunday in Halawa.

“I just love the feeling of being able to represent Hawaii and be one of those guys on this team representing Hawaii in this game. It’s really an honor,” said Okeke, the Las Vegas native and safety for the Rainbow Warriors.

The week surrounding the Hula Bowl is just as important to the players as the game itself. Throughout the week NFL, XFL, and CFL scouts are at practice and conducting interviews. The players are also put through seminars and classes that focus on life both on and off of the field along with cultural activities around the island.

“The mindset is to try and show everything that you’re able to do and be able to show the scouts that you have a plethora of talents to be able to do a lot of different things in a lot of different areas. So my focus has been to show them that I can raise my game and be one of those top guys at any position wherever they put me on the field,” said Okeke.

Ikem Okeke

“To be able to be one the one percent as Rex Ryan says, it’s a blessing to be out here to showcase my talents to the scouts and just represent the University of Hawaii and my teammates that are here too,” the former UH receiver Ward explained. “I’m just taking it one day at a time, not overthinking anything and just at the end of the day have fun with it and get the knowledge from all the coaches and learn as much as possible.”

JoJo Ward

The 2020 Hula Bowl, the all-star game’s return for the first time in 12-years will take place on Sunday at 5:30 pm at Aloha Stadium. Tickets are available and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network with Hawaii’s own Kanoa Leahey and Jordan Helle on the call.

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