50 UH student-athletes spent the day in Maui, doing their part in relief efforts

With Maui relief efforts ongoing, the University of Hawaii athletics department helped in a big way this week.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:53 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Maui relief efforts ongoing, the University of Hawaii athletics department helped in a big way this week.

In a collective effort among multiple teams, 50 Rainbow Warriors and Wahine spent time volunteering at multiple donation sites on the valley isle, an experience they say they will never forget.

“You can be grateful for so much and that life is never really that simple and hard.” UH baseball player Ben Zeigler-Namoa told Hawaii News Now. “I mean, those people lost everything.”

The athletes helped distribute supplies in Kahului and Lahaina, getting a first hand look at what’s been going on in Maui.

A humbling experience for the players and coaches that made the trip.

“Just a very impactful moving experience.” UH baseball head coach Rich Hill said. “Somebody said, you know, this must be very gratifying for you and I said, that’s not the word man, the word is humbling.”

“That was a humbling experience and honored, you know, to be able to be in a position to serve.”

The players, utterly speechless when seeing the devastation up close.

“All the sports that were there are from all over the world and I think everyone just felt the sorrow.” Zeigler-Namoa said. “I mean, I’ve never been on a bus and it just go dead quiet like that, it was really touching and man, it was unreal.

Players — like Lahaina native and UH outfielder Ben Zeigler-Namoa — getting the true sense of the responsibility they hold as Hawaii student athletes.

“The love we got to hand out was so much more important.” Zeigler-Namoa said. “I mean, we went to a shelter and people were crying and just to see the emotions come out of people it was really touching and I was happy that we could have a really small impact on the community at that day, for sure.”

For Zeigler-Namoa, this cause hits close to home as the Maui boy was personally affected by the disaster.

“She was actually my kindergarten, second grade teacher, her parents died, and a couple other people, I mean, I know hundreds of homes that got burnt down and I know their families and I’m just praying for them.”

Going forward, UH says that they will continue to support relief efforts in anyway they can.