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Former Hawaii athletes saddened, shocked by Seau's death

By Stephen Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 12:49 p.m. HST, May 2, 2012

News of former All-Pro football player Junior Seau's death was met with shock and sadness from his friends and associates in Hawaii.

Seau, a 12-time All-Pro linebacker in his 18-year NFL career, died Wednesday from what is being investigated as an apparent suicide.

"This is totally shocking," said Leo Goeas, a former University of Hawaii offensive lineman who was Seau's teammate for three years with the San Diego Chargers.

"We were drafted the same year (1990) by the same team," Goeas said. "Those years in San Diego we did a lot of things together. I went to his wedding. We hung out a lot."

Seau played at Southern California but his influence was wide spread.

"He was one of the guys I looked up to when I was playing at UH," said Maa Tanuvasa, former UH defensive lineman who began his NFL career with the Denver Broncos, who were in the same division as the Seau's Chargers.

"To be on the same field with him, we got to know each other," Tanuvasa said. "When I got to San Diego (as a free agent in 2001), we really got close."

Their families would get together whenever Seau was in Honolulu.

Former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann interacted with Seau through the Pro Bowl activities.

"He played the sport well, and he gave back," Hannemann said. "He never forgot his roots. It's very sad to hear of his untimely death."

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