HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - November 23rd 2018 is a day that many Hawaii football fans and many college football fans will never forget.
One of Hawaii’s and college football’s biggest superstars laid on his back in front of a stunned crowd at the University of Central Florida.
McKenzie Milton suffered a gruesome leg injury one that even now six months later he continues to recover from at home at Hawaii Optimum Performance.
“Its definitely put a lot of things in perspective for me," Milton said. “I learned just not putting all my eggs in one basket with football, I just realized that not just through the injury but just through the past few years that football doesn’t define who I am.”
Injuries are an unfortunate part about the game of football and although they often happen, every athlete responds in their own way.
The severity of Milton’s knee injury was something that doctor’s and observers couldn’t sugarcoat but the former Trojan refused to believe that his best best football days were behind him and giving up was never an option.
Milton has gone through five surgeries since November and remains more motivated then ever to get back in shotgun for the Knights.
“I been hurt before I’ve had many injuries playing football,” said Milton. “I’ve always felt like I could come back, the severity might be a little more but I believe in a big God so I have faith that I’ll be able to come back even stronger.”
Despite the recent setbacks McKenzie Milton has managed to accomplish something bigger then just being a football star. The local boy has brought together cultures from Florida and Hawaii together.
Following the injury the University of Central Florida team wore ’10hana’ stickers on their helmets and fans donned lei in the stands to show their support for Milton. Despite being thousands of miles away from his island home ‘Aloha’ had made it’s way to the Sunshine State.
“In Florida extended out to Hawaii this support has been everything," Milton said. "Just having people sending thoughts and prayers I don’t think I’d be as far as I am without people sending prayers to me.”
The road to recovery is still in it’s infancy stages but Milton believes the injury and the process of healing himself is something he will continue to draw strength from.
The injury has changed his perspective on life and he’s ready for whatever will come next.
“It’s going to end one day whether it was November 23rd or 10 years from now,” Milton said. “I got to be ready for that so I’m just taking those life lessons I learned from that and applying them to the next chapter of my life.”