San Francisco 49ers lineman DeForest Buckner continues to give back to Waianae

Members of the Waianae volleyball teams were given gifts of apparel from San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. Photo courtesy Thia Palakiko

DeForest Buckner didn’t attend Waianae High, but he is a Waianae boy and he cares deeply about his roots.

Buckner, the former Punahou and Oregon football star and now a defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers, made good on his pledge of $10,000 in Nike athletic apparel to the Waianae volleyball teams.

The teams received the goods last month at the school gym from Buckner’s mom Maria Toilolo-Buckner, who lives in Waianae with husband George Buckner.

DeForest Buckner made the pledge last year, when Thia Palakiko was the Waianae girls head coach. Palakiko and Toilolo-Buckner played middle for the Seariders under coach Dan Kitashima before they graduated in 1984.

Kitashima is back at the helm of the Waianae squad this season, with Palakiko (who went on to play for the University of Hawaii and UH Hilo while Toilolo played for Hawaii Pacific) taking a break.

The Nike apparel is for the girls as well as the boys volleyball teams. It includes sweat pants and tops, tights for games and practices, socks, bags and warmup jerseys.

“His heart is for Waianae,” Palakiko said about DeForest Buckner. “His whole family is from here. He is very generous and very humble and he’s always for the kids. Him and the mom. That’s who he learned it from. She has always been a giving person, trying to take care of others.”

Waianae volleyball players surrounded DeForest Buckner’s mother, Maria Toilolo-Buckner, who presented the gifts last month. Photo courtesy Thia Palakiko


  1. rrforlifebaby September 12, 2019 11:03 am

    Pretty awesome of him!

  2. Pierre La Chance September 12, 2019 1:32 pm

    What a nice thing to do. God bless him.

  3. Bone 1 September 12, 2019 5:01 pm

    Awesome DeForest, God Bless you and fam!!!

  4. ??? September 12, 2019 6:58 pm

    Never forget where you’re from; even if you attend an ILH school. Your ROOTS is your ROOTS! God Bless him .

  5. turfwar September 13, 2019 12:09 am

    DeForest will be forever remembered by his community. Kid was raised the right way. Mahalo to DeForest and the Buckner Ohana. Westside has always been repped by some outstanding athletes and he continues the tradition.

  6. Aaron Furtado September 13, 2019 10:23 am

    That’s really good on you Defo and the Waianae volleyball teams I’m sure are extremely grateful for it. Good to see my cousin Maria with a big smiles well. Alofa ia te oe Toilolo aiga!!! Cousin Aaron out ✌🏽

  7. HLI September 13, 2019 12:49 pm

    Thats awesome.

    I love how he is honoring his mother.
    Great young man.
    And a 49er to boot.

  8. Pono September 13, 2019 8:23 pm

    What a great role model

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