Another Kiwi connection in the NFL

Yahoo! New Zealand Sport April 30, 2012, 2:24 pm

There will be another Kiwi connection in the new NFL season after Rhett Ellison, son of former NZ-born NFL star Riki Ellison was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of this year's draft.

The selection came as a major shock for Ellison who didn’t expect to be picked.

"They asked me if I was watching TV," Ellison told reporters. "I was out on the river at that point trying to relax. I said, 'No, I'm not watching it.'

"They said, 'Well, you're about to be a Minnesota Viking.' I was crying pretty hard, so I don't know if they understood anything that I was saying."

Rhett will be following in the footsteps of his famous dad Riki.

Christchurch-born Riki, who is also related to Tamati Ellison and Jacob Ellison, was the first Kiwi and Maori to play in the NFL.

He won two Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers before playing out his career with the now-extinct LA Raiders.

Rhett is just the third Kiwi to play in the NFL.

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8 Comments

  1. Pedro08:02pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Who cares if he's 'really' a Kiwi, what position will he play? I'm assuming RB with the #40

    Reply
  2. Andrew07:06pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I take it that's Rhett in the picture, in the USC uniform?

    Reply
  3. Rusty06:06pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Riki may have spent a lot of his life in the states, but he was a proud and petriotic New Zealander. If Rhett is half the player his dad was he will be a success.

    Reply
  4. 05:05pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Riki's father, Danny, was a good rugby player. There was a very good documentary about Riki on maori TV a year or so ago, including Riki discovering his Maori heritage and family.

    Reply
  5. Hayden03:23pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Yea you're right Maxy but if his Dad is close to his Maori heritage & is still patriotic towards NZ then Rhett is bound to be as well.

    Reply
  6. Maxy03:06pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Don't want to pour cold water on this guys, but how "Kiwi" is this guy? His Dad lived from his early teens in the States and this son is from Rikis marriage to an American. He may never even have been to NZ, but yes he will have some Kiwi blood in him.

    1 Reply
  7. Michael02:46pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Good for him. but he has not "played in the nfl" yet

    Reply
  8. CHRIS02:41pm Monday 30th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What a great Story "Go Kiwi"

    Reply

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