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It's been a 'charmed life' for former BYU football star Vai Sikahema

Published: Wednesday, June 4 2014 1:36 p.m. MDT

At left, Vai Sikahema of BYU makes a run during the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California, December 21, 1984. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) At left, Vai Sikahema of BYU makes a run during the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California, December 21, 1984. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

From growing up aspiring to be a boxer, to excelling in football and now enjoying a broadcasting career, former BYU football standout Vai Sikahema has led a fulfilling life.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently caught up with the former BYU return specialist/running back to talk about the journey he's been on, which included one season playing for the Green Bay Packers.

Sikahema, who writes the periodical column "Vai's View" for the Deseret News, is a father of four and currently anchors the morning news for NBC10 in Philadelphia and has served as the station's sports director.

His football career included two Pro Bowl selections, becoming the first Tongan to ever play in the NFL and setting an NCAA record at BYU for most punt returns in a career (153 for 1,312 yards and three touchdowns).

Vai Sikahema, at right, on the NBC10 set in Philadelphia with news anchor, Tim Lake. (Colin Macaulay/NBC10,) Vai Sikahema, at right, on the NBC10 set in Philadelphia with news anchor, Tim Lake. (Colin Macaulay/NBC10,)

"I've basically had two jobs in my adult life: playing football and covering sports," Sikahema told the Journal Sentinel. "I've had a charmed life and am very grateful for my opportunities."

Sikahema's broadcasting career helped him meet his idol Muhammad Ali during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and his love of boxing proved to be an asset on the football field.

"Returning is exactly like boxing — you make people miss with quick movements," he said. "Ducking and feinting — a head fake or shoulder drop."

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