The initial news wasn’t good when it came to one member of the Hawaii football program. Not long after, the university’s public response seemingly confirmed the dire situation.
Reports surfaced over the weekend that Hawaii football player Kalepo Naotala was seriously injured in a diving accident off of Waikiki Beach Saturday. One report stated that Naotala was transported in serious condition to a local trauma center after sustaining a spinal injury.
Late Sunday night, UH released a statement attributed to head coach Nick Rolovich.
“In six months, Kalepo has made such an impact on our team,” the coach said. “By being here, Kalepo has strengthened our football program and now its time for our program to stick together in support of him and his family. He is, and always will be, a Warrior. At this time, Kalepo and his family can use your thoughts and prayers.”
It was also confirmed by the school that “Naotala was seriously injured after a diving accident in Waikiki on Saturday.” As was the case in previous reports, no details were divulged.
The release added that the university’s athletic department “is exploring fundraising options to assist Naotala’s medical expenses.”
A 2016 graduate of Menchville High School in Newport News, VA., Naotala enrolled at UH earlier this year and participated in spring practice. The school’s release stated that “[h]e was expected to compete for playing time this season.”