Su­per Bowl-win­ning broth­ers part o

The New Zealand Herald - - SUPER SPORT -

Michael Burgess

A pair of Su­per Bowl-win­ning broth­ers are two of the Amer­i­can foot­ball play­ers be­hind the Ton­gan-Amer­i­can con­sor­tium try­ing to buy the War­riors.

The Her­ald un­der­stands Ma’ake and Chris Ke­moeatu, who won the NFL cham­pi­onship with the Bal­ti­more Ravens and Pitts­burgh Steel­ers re­spec­tively, are part of the syn­di­cate headed by Hawai­ian politi­cian Richard Fale.

Aside from their wide-rang­ing foot­ball ex­ploits, the duo also made head­lines four years ago when older brother Ma’ake, 39, do­nated one of his kid­neys to Chris, 35, who needed a trans­plant af­ter long-run­ning kid­ney is­sues.

The trans­plant, which meant both had to give up their sport­ing ca­reers, cap­tured the public imag­i­na­tion in the United States.

The Ke­moeatu broth­ers were born in Tonga, but moved to Oahu, Hawaii, with their fam­ily when young. They at­tended Kahuku High School, which has be­come fa­mous for the num­ber of NFL play­ers it churns out.

Ma’ake played 136 NFL games from 2002 to 2012. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the Univer­sity of Utah, he was picked up by the Ravens, com­plet­ing four sea­sons with the Bal­ti­more club. That was fol­lowed by stints at the Carolina Pan­thers (2006-08) and Wash­ing­ton Red­skins (2010) be­fore a year’s hia­tus due to var­i­ous in­juries. He then made a mem­o­rable re­turn to Bal­ti­more as a 33-year-old, which was capped by a Su­per Bowl ring af­ter the Ravens beat the 49ers 34-31 in 2012.

Younger brother Chris also stud­ied at the Univer­sity of Utah and was a sixth round draft pick by the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers in 2005.

He spent seven sea­sons with the Steel­ers, a pe­riod that co­in­cided with one of the most suc­cess­ful pe­ri­ods in Pitts­burgh his­tory. He helped them to Su­per Bowl vic­to­ries in his rookie year (de­feat­ing Seat­tle Sea­hawks) and 2008 (over Ari­zona Wild­cats).

Chris made a third Su­per Bowl ap­pear­ance in 2011, when the Steel­ers lost 35-21 to the Green Bay Pack­ers.

He then re­tired, af­ter bat­tling kid­ney prob­lems since he was a teenager. When he was told he needed a trans­plant, Ma’ake — who is the old­est of seven sib­lings — im­me­di­ately stepped

Ma’ake (left) and Chris Ke­moeatu won th h the Bal­ti­more Ravens and Pitts­burgh Ste e

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