After the game, the team met on the field for pictures. Front-row center was Brown holding a portrait of his brother.
“It means a lot. It’s just good knowing that I got people supporting me and my family,” Brown said. “It’s a hard time, so it’s good knowing people are supporting us. They’re there for us whenever we need anything.”
Saito-Brown added: “With the support of the football team, it really helped that my second son, Ali’i, to play and to want to be there — it’s just very supportive of the football team. And also when they huddled around him after and they took a picture with him, it’s an amazing and beautiful thing — to show that in such loss, there’s so much beauty and so much living that is going on. Even in our sadness, we see the love and support of everyone.”
Rapozo said the last few weeks have been rough, but the football field has served as a place of refuge.
“It’s hard. Everybody’s with a heavy heart when the dad and the brother is part of our football family here,” he said. “And the mom’s been around. She a team parent. The younger brother is here every day in practice. It’s kind of hard to keep going. But yet, football helps. It helps heal. It makes things a little easier, I guess, for everybody.”
Though the family’s “Pocho Prince” — as SaitoBrown called her son — may not be with them anymore, they continue to live on.
“Keanu, he is my Pocho Prince. You know, he’s Portuguesse. But I thought he was my prince,” Saito-Brown said. “The same way with Ali’i. I call him my ali’i. He’s my Hawaiian prince. And my little Larry, he’s my baby. But just with the determination this boy had, and all the things I’ve watched from when he was a little boy all the way until his older years, and he was very loving to his brothers. Always wanted to see his brothers at games and all of that.”
Brown added: “We’re doing alright, just living like that. Just the help of my family and all, like my friends and a lot of family friends, they’ve been helping us a lot. We’re just living because if we just sit around and not think about it, it would be harder for us. We’re just living and trying to enjoy things. It’s still sad, what happened and everything, but we just got to keep going. We’re going to miss him a lot and it hurts every day, but that’s what we got to do. Just keep living and enjoy life.”
Saito is survived by his mother Desaray SaitoBrown, brothers Ali’i Brown and Larry Brown, father Paka Brown and other numerous family members and friends.
A celebration of life is to be held at a later date.