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Ute players raising money for village where family members died



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Three weeks ago, Samoa was hit by a tsunami. Two University of Utah football players lost several family members when their village was completely destroyed.

Utah defensive tackle, Silver Siliga first heard about the tsunami after practice.

"I heard about it through texts and didn't think it was that severe. Then I went home and seen my mother and seen the pain in her face," he said.

The pain came from the news that 21 of Silver's extended family members had died when the village they grew up in was washed away.

"The fact that it's my family, it's blood, it still affects me just knowing that part of my family was wiped out," he said.

Offensive lineman Nelly A'asa left that same island with his family when he was 13. He lost three family members from his father's side.

"The village I was born and raised in was completely washed out; it got hit the hardest," he said.

Utah's strength coach was in that same village just last year running a football camp. He hopes the organization One Hope United can raise money at Saturday's game to help rebuild schools back in his homeland. If you'd like to help, click here to find out how.

E-mail: kaiken@ksl.com

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Kathy Aiken

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