What’s in a name? Ask Arizona’s Kema-Kaleiwahea

Arizona linebacker Keoni Bush-Loo changed his name to Makani Kerna-Kaleiwahea during the offseason.

TUCSON, Ariz. — So how was your summer?

Probably not as busy as Keoni Bush-Loo’s or the former Keoni Bush-Loo, who on Wednesday officially can use his new name: Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea.

Adopted at an early age, he said he had the opportunity "go back to my original birth name. It was just something I just chose to do, personally."

He said it was in honor of his grandmother and had it planned for some time.

"I’m just going back to my roots," he said. "I’m Polynesian."

Friday will be his coming out party when his he puts on his uniform.

"It’s awesome (having Kema-Kaleiwahea on my jersey)," he said. "I think they were rushing to get the name there. It’s 15 letters and they are using every stitch with only a millimeter left on it."

Kema-Kaleiwahea is a native of Ewa Beach, Hawaii. He’s listed as the starting strong side linebacker.

Name changes for Kema-Kaleiwahea aren’t the only difference this summer. He got married when Arizona fall camp began. Of course, there was no time for a honeymoon.

"I’ve been with her for a long time and the timing seemed about right," he said about marriage during the team’s media day. "I did it so I did it. It made sense for us."

It’s called life, he said.

"People go through it in life," he said. "It was my time (to get married). It just happened in football season and I’m a football player."

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