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Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Announces Establishment of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award and Official 2016 Enshrinement Weekend Schedule

HONOLULU (July 14, 2015) The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced today the establishment of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award, presented by Hawaiian Airlines. It will be awarded annually to the most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian ancestry.

“This award was established to help showcase the immense talent of our current Polynesian athletes at the highest level of football,” said Jesse Sapolu, Chairman and Co-Founder.

The winner of the 2016 Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on January 6, 2016. Five finalists will be unveiled December 8. The formal presentation of the award will be held at the Celebration Dinner during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on January 29, 2016.

“Today, there are about 60 players of Polynesian ancestry on active NFL rosters,” said Ma’a Tanuvasa, Vice-Chairman and Co-Founder. “We are proud that five of the first 66 players selected in this year’s NFL Draft were Polynesian.”

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame also announced the official schedule of events for the Third Annual Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend.  The events will be held on January 29 & 30, 2016 at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu and the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie.



Friday, January 29, 2016 • Hawai’i Convention Center

6:00 PM         Inductee Reception
7:00 PM         Celebration Dinner


Saturday, January 30, 2016 • Polynesian Cultural Center

10:30 AM       Class of 2016 Gallery Dedication
11:00 AM       Enshrinement Ceremony Reception
12:00 PM       Enshrinement Ceremony
1:30 PM         Autograph Session
2:30 PM         Inductee Polynesian Cultural Center Canoe Parade

Tickets and sponsorships are available now at

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will soon begin deliberation on the Class of 2016. This year, five Inductees (four players and one coach or contributor) will be selected, and announced on October 7, 2015.  The Selection Committee includes Coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell EdwardsRon McBride, and Dick Vermeil, past NFLPA President and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, NFL player personnel legend Gil Brandt and Honolulu Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.

About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. As a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, the Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides scholarships for Polynesian student-athletes and supports educational programs for Polynesian youth.

Inaugural Class (2014): Kurt Gouveia (Hawaiian ancestry), Olin Kreutz (Hawaiian ancestry), Kevin Mawae (Hawaiian ancestry), Junior Seau (Samoan ancestry), Jack Thompson (Samoan ancestry), Herman Wedemeyer (Hawaiian ancestry) and Coach Ken Niumatalolo (Samoan ancestry)

Class of 2015: Luther Elliss (Samoan ancestry), Jesse Sapolu (Samoan ancestry), Raymond Schoenke (Hawaiian ancestry), Mosi Tatupu (Samoan ancestry), Mark Tuinei (Samoan ancestry) and Russell Francis