Injured Hawaii player given $10,000 by athlete assistance fund

(Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Hawaii defensive lineman Kalepo Naotala has been given a grant of $10,000 from the College Football Assistance Fund following his spinal cord injury.

Naotala was injured in a diving accident off Waikiki Beach in early July. According to reports at the time, he “appeared to hit his head” while diving and sustained a major spinal injury.

Per the school, he has been continuing his rehab at a hospital in Englewood, Colorado and the grant will be used for both medical and non-medical costs while he undergoes his rehab.

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“Words can’t express how blessed we’ve been in the midst of this trying time for our family,” Naotala’s parents Tony and Shantell said in a statement. “The outpouring of God’s love and grace through prayers, love and support from Virginia to Hawaii and now Colorado has been tremendous. We’d like to thank the College Football Assistance Fund for their support and generous donation in allowing our family to focus on Kalepo and his recovery & rehabilitation. We are grateful and appreciative that such an organization exists and is able to help us out during this critical time in our son’s life.”

The CFAF was founded in 2010 by people in the college football industry to help injured players with their recoveries.

Naotala, a native of Virginia, signed with the school in February of 2016 but spent the season as a grayshirt because of a knee injury.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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