The Rock returns to the islands to host XFL Football Hawaii Showcase
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Finally! The Rock has come back to Hawaii!
This time as part owner of the XFL, the spring football league on their third leg of their showcase tour, giving a unique opportunity to players who are hoping to continue their football dreams.
“This by far is one of the memorable days for me because life comes full circle.” Dwayne Johnson told reporters.
The XFL along with owners Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia were out at McKinley high school on Saturday for the XFL Hawaii Showcase.
An invite only event for local players to show their skills to league coaches in the hopes of getting signed to a team ahead of their 2023 spring season — a chance for them to continue their careers on the gridiron.
“To be able to come back, put the showcase on, help create an opportunity for local boys, something that I once was because I will always be one.” Johnson said. “Just be given an opportunity to live their dream.”
“Just kind of built this fire in me.” Former UH linebacker Soloman Matautia said. “This hunger and this opportunity coming up is going to be huge for me, I’m going to give it everything I got.”
For most players, they understand that this tryout is all or nothing.
“You’re not in high school.” Johnson said. “It’s not like oh we’ve got next year or the year after tha,t you’re not going back to college, this is it and this is a big opportunity for you, so you can tell the guys who have been training for weeks and weeks because they come in looking like they’re in football shape.”
Purchased by Johnson and Garcia back in 2020, the XFL has slowly been rebuilding their brand and league with a new logo and this showcase series to fill their rosters ahead of their relaunch.
And when looking at locations for their showcases, Hawaii was at the top of the list.
“There were a lot of number ones and Hawaii was tied with them.” XFL owner Dany Garcia said. “There was absolutely no doubt that we were coming here.”
Johnson — who spent his younger years in the islands — stating the importance of putting the spotlight of the 808′s hidden gems.
“A lot of times in my opinion, it’s just a matter of I think just taking the lens, moving it just a couple degrees to showcase the talent we actually have here on this rock on this island.” Johnson said.
Some key players invited include former UH quarterbacks Bryant Moniz and Cole McDonald.
Up next for the XFL Showcase tour is the HBCU Showcase at Jackson State University.
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