ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – On Saturday, the University of Central Florida’s Bounce House will be welcoming a star-studded roster for the annual Hula Bowl.
The collegiate football game is typically played in Hawaii but this year organizers moved it to Central Florida where Florida State University, and former UCF, quarter-back star McKenzie Milton will be playing.
During one of Milton’s practice days, he told News 6 the significance of being at the game and how it will benefit the family of his former teammate, Otis Anderson Jr., who was killed on Nov. 29.
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“They wanted to do something for Otis. I’ve been wanting to do stuff for Otis and you know they made it right in my mind,” Milton said about the special gesture the organizers of the Hula Bowl will have with Otis’ mother.
Denise Anderson will receive 50% of the ticket sales for the event.
“That was really cool of them and, you know, just really having me be able to play in the game and then them doing that for Otis, you know, that’s special,” the quarterback said.
Anderson was a former UCF running back. Police said he was shot by his father at his home in Jacksonville. Investigators said it happened following an argument about how the 23-year-old’s girlfriend’s dog bit Otis’ father--who’s been charged with 1st-degree murder.
Ahead of the Hula Bowl, Milton remembered his friend as a funny person with a carefree spirit but extremely competitive.
“He would wear his emotions on his sleeve and stuff like that. So you could definitely feel whatever he was going through and, you know, that’s the kind of person I wanna be around — and he’s a special, special person,” Milton said.
Also special for Milton is playing his final college game back where it all started, at the Bounce House stadium. His return is the culmination of his second chance at football after coming back from a knee injury that nearly cost him his leg but resulted in a return to the field for FSU.
“It’s just great being out here, I love it here,” he said. “That’s really the place that I left my legacy. So, I’m super excited about that. Hopefully, we have a great turnout. But nonetheless I just love playing in the Bounce House. I love playing on that grass and it’s like a sanctuary for me almost.”
To purchase a ticket that donates to this cause, please click here.