With Poly Bowl nod, Fa’amasino steps out of big bro’s shadow
As flattered as Anchorage’s Niko Fa’amasino is to be compared to his older brother, he really wants to forge his own path.
“I want to make a name for myself and not only be known as Lui’s little brother,” he told me. “Not that there is anything wrong with it, but some people expect me to play just like him just because we are related. We are two different people and he has his own style of playing.”
Polynesian Bowl officials have recognized his style.
Fa’amasino, of West High fame, has accepted an invitation to participate in the Polynesian Bowl National Combine and Showcase, a three-day event in March in Las Vegas for top players from the Class of 2020, 2021 and 2022.
“I know there will be great competition there and I will try my best to do what I do and try to compete with these guys,” he said. “It will be a great experience.”
Fa’amasino’s older brother, Lui, was an all-state, 1,148-yard running back as a senior at West and led the Eagles to the 2013 state championship. He moved to linebacker at LA Harbor College and currently is playing at NCAA D1 New Mexico State.
Hoping to follow in those footsteps, Fa’amasino appears to be on his way. Last season the 220-pound junior rushed for 539 yards, including a career-best 206 against Bartlett in the semifinals to lead West to the state title game.
“I feel like I haven’t proved anything yet,” he said. “Getting at least one D1 offer would make me feel like I have proved something, but that would still make me feel like I need to work harder. I play football because I have so much passion for the game just like every other athlete out there who has love for the sport they play.”
He will be joined at Polynesian Bowl National Combine and Showcase by West teammate Dharen Montalbo.
“It is really important to have national representation for Alaska because we don’t get a lot of love from top-notch colleges out there,” Fa’amasino said. “We have a lot of great talent out here, so I think this is a great opportunity for me and Dhar to represent our family and ourselves, but to represent the state of Alaska. This is such a huge blessing.”