Marcus Mariota talks about his Polynesian heritage and growing up in Hawai'i during interviews after receiving the 2014 Heisman Trophy. Mariota, who was born in Honolulu and is of Samoan descent, was named the 2016 Polynesian pro player of the year by the Polynesian Football hall of Fame. In an interview with ESPN in 2018 Mariota spoke about his heritage, saying "It's always about us, it's always about the community. It's never about I or what you're doing. When you carry yourself that way, it's important that you remember that you represent much more than yourself." The Pac-12 celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May by recognizing and acknowledging the generations of those who continually represent and advance their culture with pride.