CULTURES SERIES: Aumavae of Football Proud of American Samoan Heritage

By Bridget Connolly, Morehead State Athletic Media Relations

Third in a series highlighting international student-athletes at Morehead State, their cultures and why they chose to attend Morehead State. If you are an international student, there are wonderful resources to help you attend MSU. Click here for more information. This series is also researched and self-written by an international student athlete, Bridget Connollyfrom New Zealand.

MOREHEAD, Ky. —

Sese Aumavae is a student athlete from a South Pacific island group called American Samoa. He is a senior on the Morehead State football team and is studying sports management.

He chose to become an Eagle at Morehead State because it would enable him to fulfill his dream of playing Division I football. Football has always been a part of his life.

“I got into football very young, 10 years old. I started playing pick-up football with my cousins ​​on our big, sloping field,” he said.

This love of football continued to grow and led to his commitment to play as a D1 athlete at Morehead State.

“I love being here on the Morehead State football team. More specifically, I like working together as a team, learning to play as a team and constantly learning more about the game of football.”

Aumavae is also interested in many other sports.

“I would definitely play other sports like rugby, volleyball, golf, basketball, cricket and boat racing when I was back home.”

Home for Sese is something he is very proud of.

“I get goose bumps just thinking about what I’m proud of from home. I love my culture and it gives me a platform to follow and embrace,” he said.

As such, moving to Kentucky was not easy and he experienced many different culture shocks, the biggest of which was when he first arrived in Kentucky.

“All my life I have been with Polynesian people or people of my ethnicity.”

Therefore, Kentucky was very different from what he was used to. He describes his culture as like in the movie Moana, as “the lifestyle that Moana’s tribe lived is my cultures and my way of life”.

Like many other international students, COVID has had a major impact on Aumavae. He couldn’t go home and be with his family when the pandemic closed the borders to American Samoa.

“Home was the only place I wanted to be during that time,” he said. “Morehead got off to a rocky start but has grown into a place I will remember for the rest of my life. Being part of the Morehead State football team was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was told that coming from a junior college in ‘the middle of nowhere’ (Cisco in Texas) that once you reach Division I football you are automatically an outcast. You know what, they were definitely wrong.”

Aumavae has signed on for a fifth year to play for Morehead State. However, after graduation, he has ambitions to become a regional scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers and work for the NFL Combine Organization.

To follow Sese and the Morehead State football team, updates will be posted to the MSU athletics website and Twitter page. The Eagles open the 2022 season on August 27 at Mercer in Macon, Georgia.

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