Cardinals LG Mike Iupati named Polynesian player of the year

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Iupati's trophy shelf is getting crowded.

Less than two weeks after the Arizona Cardinals left guard was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth straight year, Iupati was named the Polynesian pro football player of the year by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame board of directors and selection committee.

According to a release, the award “recognizes the most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian ancestry.”

“As a proud Polynesian and Samoan, I am honored to be selected as the inaugural Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year,” Iupati said in a release. “I would like to congratulate the other finalists, Marcus Mariota, Rey Maualuga, Koa Misi and Manti Te'o as they represent the very best of our culture and the National Football League.”

Iupati, who is of Samoan ancestry, is an American Samoa native.

Iupati was an anchor for an offensive line that helped the Cardinals finish first in total offense, second in points scored, sixth in rushing touchdowns and eighth in rushing yards.

“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors and Selection Committee, we congratulate Mike on this historic accomplishment,” said Ma'a Tanuvasa, co-founder and vice chairman of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. “Mike is a great role model and inspiration for our youth around the globe.”

The award will be formally presented at a dinner on Jan. 29.

The selection committee included former coaches Dick Tomey (chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, former NFL vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt, former NFLPA president Kevin Mawae and Hawaii sportscaster Robert Kekaula.