Before he took the stage to close the 2019 Hawaii Hall of Honor banquet, Manti Te‘o spent a joyful few moments greeting outgoing high seniors.
Some, like Punahou’s Duke Clemens and Saint Louis’ Faatui Tuitele, are inductees to the ’19 class. Others, like Punahou’s Marist Liufau — who is heading to Te‘o’s college alma mater, Notre Dame, and Maninoa Tufono, are alums of Punahou. Like Te‘o.
A longtime sportswriter asked Te‘o, a 2009 inductee into the Hall, about his speech for the group of 12 and an audience of rapt listeners at Dole Cannery’s Pomaika‘i Ballrooms. Is this, public speaking, something that he could get used to?
“Oh yeah,” Te‘o said, and soon he delivered one of the most revealing and soulful messages ever heard at the Hall of Honor podium.