Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Three things to know about Vita Vea
By Bailey Adams
1. His Full Name and Background
Last year, the Bucs drafted a couple of guys with some unique names. In the first round, it was O’Terrius Jabari Howard. In the seventh round, it was Stevie Tu’ikolovatu. The 2017 first-rounder is obviously better known as O.J. Howard, while the seventh-rounder is more commonly referred to as “Stevie T.” Well, this year’s first pick has a name that is even more difficult… Tevita Tuliakiono Tuipuloto Mosese Va’hae Faletau Vea. His full name includes 47 characters and 20 syllables. Thankfully, he goes by Vita Vea.
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Vea’s parents moved from Tonga to East Palo Alto, a poor area in California. He talked before the draft about carrying his Tongan heritage with him, owing his success to his parents. According to an article from the University of Washington Tyee Club, his mother worked as many as five jobs at a time when he was a kid. She could sometimes only see her family on Sundays. Now, she can see her son play professional football on Sundays.
After being selected with the twelfth pick, Vea said he was going to buy his parents a home. His family had its house taken in 2009. The family lived in a motel and different rentals after that, but no longer. As a first-rounder, Vea can get his parents the house of their dreams.