‘I Definitely Call This Home’ — Why Miami Is So Important to Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

Miami Dolphins fifth-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa takes his role as a leader seriously -- both on and off the field.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Tua Tagovailoa’s favorite adage is best heard in its native Samoan:

O le ala i le pule o le tautua.

The translation?

The pathway to leadership is through service.

Tagovailoa, entering his critical fifth season with the Miami Dolphins, doesn’t just talk the talk in this regard.

He walks the walk — most recently with his foundation’s annual luau, which in its three-year history raised some $800,000 for youth programs in cities that mean the most to him.

Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa Holds Third Annual Luau

Tagovailoa, totally healthy and noticeably slimmer this offseason, is in the final year of his rookie contract. But he is more determined than ever, not just to put down roots in South Florida but to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people here.

“This definitely feels like home to me,” Tagovailoa said here Thursday. “I’ve said this before, but this is where both of my kids, you know, were born. This is where we’re going to raise our family, with me and [wife] Annah.

“This is the city that chose me to be their quarterback. And I’m very grateful, I’m very honored for that. I don’t take any of that lightly. And so, you know, I definitely call this home.”

Tagoaviloa’s foundation, per its website, “is dedicated to the support of youth initiatives, health and wellness, and other charitable causes.”

He wants to give back to the communities that raised him: In Hawaii, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and here.

He has plenty of support. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel plus players past and present attended Thursday’s luau — including Dan Marino, whose own foundation will receive a portion of the proceeds raised.

Jalen Ramsey and Terron Armstead traveled with Tua to Hawaii earlier this month for Tagovailoa’s football camp and charity golf tournament.

KEEP READING: Slimmer Tua Tagovailoa Talks Contract, Offseason Regimen

All of this suggests that Tagovailoa does indeed plan to sign an extension with the Dolphins this summer, ensuring he’s in his adopted home for years to come.

“Never in a million years did I think I was gonna come from Hawaii, travel all the way down here,” Tagovailoa said, reflecting on his journey. “To us, people from Hawaii, [it’s] the other side of the United States for us, you know, and land here in Miami, and run a foundational event here and do something like this for a greater cause.

“I’m gonna keep saying it: This truly is a blessing. It really is a blessing. I am very, very fortunate to be in the position that I’m in now to use my platform to be able to do things like this.”

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