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Three professional athletes with Utah ties help young people prepare for college

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-30 00:38:07-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- One is in the National Football League, one in the National Basketball Association, and one on the Professional Golfers Association.

But Haloti Ngata, Jabari Parker, and Tony Finau all come from the same family tree and each has an inherent desire to give back.

They did so Thursday night at a charity event at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

The annual Ofa Ngata College Preparation Fund Luau provided a lot of good Polynesian food, a celebration of the Pacific Islander culture, and most importantly, a plan to help young people get into college.

Ofa is Haloti's mother who passed away in 2006 from complications of diabetes, and she was a big advocate of education.

"I knew I wanted to do something, I just didn't know how and one of my teammates, Ed Mulotalu, he had a foundation and ran a Luau out in Baltimore every year and I kind of learned from him,” Ngata said.  “He took me under his wing and it was like, oh, I could do something like this."

One of the main goals of the program is to help high school students study for the ACT and SAT college acceptance exams.

The program has successfully helped many young people get into college.