PREVIEW: Conference doc ‘Redeemed: The Sione Havili Story’

Sep 28, 2021, 11:41 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Playing in the NFL — it’s what dreams are made of.

When Sione Havili was in high school, he had set his sights on making it a reality.

His father had always pushed him to play hard, and he had the talent to become great.

In 1998, Havili was considered one of the best high school football players in the state of Utah.

Former University of Utah coach Ron McBride remembers him well, “He was one of those guys that caught my eye early. He was in my camps from the very beginning, and so I loved his athleticism and his toughness.”

He was heavily recruited by major universities throughout the country and had offers from many of the big name schools.

As a life-long Cougar fan, when it came time to decide where he would play, he chose Brigham Young University.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake knew him then, too.

“I knew him when he was young and saw that there was something exceptional about him, with his speed and athleticism. That combination of raw power was going to be something very special,” said Sitake.

Havili signed his letter of intent with BYU and then chose to defer his enrollment to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He put his mission papers in and was called to New York City. But just prior to leaving on his mission, a close friend’s house was the target of a drive-by gang shooting.

It was part of a rivalry that had been going on for a very long time.

Havili witnessed the fear and anxiety in his friend’s family, and before 19-year-old Sione was able to process the implications of what might happen, he joined five friends in a van, bound on getting revenge.


With two one-gallon containers of gas and rags for fuse, they firebombed the rival’s house, burning it to the ground.

No one was home at the time and there were no witnesses to the crime.

Without disclosing his involvement, shortly thereafter, Havili left to serve his mission.

After a time, justice caught up to him, and he was returned home to pay the price for his crime.

That fateful night in his neighborhood changed everything.

He spent time in prison, his scholarship was taken from him, his hope for an NFL career was gone, and all seemed lost to him. But what happened afterwards is a story of redemption. A journey that proves someone once broken can be redeemed.

To hear more about this story and see what happened to Havili, watch “REDEEMED: The Sione Havili Story” on KSL-TV, or on the KSL-TV app, on Saturday Oct. 2nd at noon.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


A masked suspect is seen lighting a Molotov cocktail in front of Temple Ner Tamid in a still image ...
Celina Tebor, Isa Kaufman-Geballe and Zoe Sottile

Man throws Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue in arson attempt, police say

A man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt on Sunday morning, police and the synagogue said.
1 day ago
Scott Barrick...
Candice Madsen

GM for Tabernacle Choir retires after 21 years

“For 21 years I’ve been part of the magic and I still pinch myself,” Scott Barrick said.
4 days ago
Panorama of Temple Sqare renovations...
Emily Ashcraft

Massive undertaking: 3 years of progress on 5-year Salt Lake Temple renovation

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square are now three years into construction on a five-year project with some of the areas scheduled to be completed this year. As a new year begins, a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided an update on the progress […]
4 days ago
An artist's rendering of the reconstructed Anchorage Alaska Temple. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)...
Madison Swenson

Anchorage Alaska Temple to be rebuilt, moved to a new location

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that the Anchorage Alaska Temple will be rebuilt in a new location and will be larger than the original.
7 days ago
From right to left: Elder Kevin R. Duncan and wife, Nancy; Elder Jorge M. Alvarado and wife, Carilu...
Madison Swenson

Elder Christofferson dedicates San Juan Puerto Rico Temple

The San Juan Puerto Rico Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated over the weekend.
12 days ago
President Russell M. Nelson at his office in the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City o...
Carole Mikita

Looking back at President Nelson’s accomplishments over the last 5 years

Five years ago, President Russell M. Nelson met with the media as the new and 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. KSL TV's Carole Mikita takes a look back at his remarkable accomplishments.
15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
PREVIEW: Conference doc ‘Redeemed: The Sione Havili Story’