Congressman Faleomavaega today offered his personal congratulations to Peyton Siva, Jr. of the University of Louisville Cardinals for making it to the Final Four of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament after beating the University of Florida Gators in the West Regional final in Phoenix, Arizona this past weekend. The Cardinals will be playing in the semifinal game against the University of Kentucky Wildcats in New Orleans this Saturday, March 31, 2012.
In 2009, Peyton Siva, Jr., who attended Franklin High School in Seattle, was unanimously selected as the AP Washington Player of the Year, named Washington Mr. Basketball, and was selected as a McDonald’s All-American. Just earlier this month, the junior point guard led the Cardinals to a Big East title and was voted the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, clinching an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
“I want to recognize Peyton for all his hard work, discipline, and composure during this basketball season, regardless of the outcome this weekend,” Faleomavaega said. “Even through a serious injury in the middle of the season, Peyton has managed to lead his team to the Final Four. This is an achievement that was fought and battled by 68 of the best Division I men’s basketball teams in the nation.”
“Peyton’s success on the hard court represents a different class of Samoans that are not playing football. We must remember the contributions of Wally Rank who played in the NBA in the early 1980’s and James Johnson who is currently playing for the Toronto Raptors. I believe Wally may be the first Samoan to ever play in the NBA with then the San Diego Clippers, now the Los Angeles Clippers.”
“I want to also acknowledge Peyton’s father for his continued support of his son’s basketball career. I know the Siva family have been through tough times and I know that through their faith in God, they are where they are today. Peyton’s grandmothers were also instrumental in Peyton’s life and we can never take away the wisdom and the foresight of our elders.”
Peyton Siva, Jr. is the son of Yvette Gaston and Peyton Siva, Sr. who is from the Alalamua family in Ta’u, Manu’a.
“I want to wish Peyton and the Cardinals the best this Saturday and pray and hope for their success that they move on to the Championship game next Wednesday,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.