The heart of a (Detroit) Lion

Jordon Dizon remembers his alma mater with shoes

by Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island

WAIMEA — Jordon Dizon has made it to the NFL, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots.

Members of the Menehune varsity football team trooped past stacks of red-and-black boxes of Under Armour shoes yesterday.

“I just talked with Jordon Dizon a few minutes ago, and he’s really excited for the kids,” said Darla Higa, Jordon’s mom.

Jordon, a former Waimea High School runningback who went on to star at Colorado University, is now a Detroit Lion where he picked up two tackles and two assists in his outing last weekend.

“He’s still absorbing the fact that he’s a Lion,” Higa said. “But when he was first drafted, I told him that he needed to give back to the community.”

That prompted him to make an arrangement with Under Armour, one of Jordon’s endorsements, to provide the football team with shoes.

“At first he wanted shoes for both the junior varsity and the varsity players,” said Jon Kobayashi, the Waimea High School athletic director.

“But the player arrangement he has prevented him from doing that. Instead, he came up with 50 shoes: that’s worth about $10,000.”

Higa said she thinks that Jordon never forgot about how she would work overtime to pay for shoes while he was playing football at both the Pop Warner and at Waimea High School.

“Shoes are probably one of the most expensive things you need to get when you play football,” Higa said. “In getting shoes for the team, he remembered how hard it is for parents, given the rising prices, to be able to afford shoes for football.”

The only problem? The color of the box. But any discomfort about the red soon wore off as the players dove into the boxes to examine the contents.

Waimea High School’s colors are blue-and-white and the players would’ve preferred a blue box to the red one, but no one complained as they looked at the pristine black shoes.

“Jordon was really excited that you folks are getting these shoes,” Higa said.

“He would’ve liked to have been here to share the feeling with you.”

Higa said Jordon has fans at all three high schools, but only the Waimea players were beneficiaries of the shoes.

“He just wants you folks to be successful,” she said. “He said to tell you guys to come to school every day and respect your coaches and everyone in your community. Work hard and don’t give up.”

The Waimea High School football team under coach Kyle Linoz open its season next week against Konawaena in Kona.

The team’s first home game is Aug. 29 at Hanapepe Stadium when it hosts Maui starting at 7 p.m.

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