Vai Sikahema joined NBC10 in 1994. He currently serves as Sports Director for the station and can also be seen co-anchoring NBC10 News at 5pm.
Sikahema is known for his diverse skills as both an anchor and sports reporter. He has covered multiple Olympic Games for NBC10, including the 2012 Summer Games in London, the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece. He has covered the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers in their championship quests at the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Championship, and Stanley Cup. Local sports stories that have been most memorable for him include the sagas of thoroughbred racehorses Smarty Jones and Barbaro, both of which captivated the region.
In addition to his anchoring and sports duties, Sikahema hosts “Wednesday’s Child,” a weekly segment promoting the adoption of area children. The feature is sponsored by the National Adoption Center and the Freddie Mac Foundation. In 2011, he received a commendation from the Congressional Caucus of Adoption in Washington, D.C. for his dedication to this program.
Sikahema’s career in broadcasting started while his NFL career was at its peak. He worked at KSAZ-TV in Phoenix while he was with the Cardinals, and was with WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin during his stint with the Packers. He ultimately ended up in Philadelphia as an Eagle from 1992 to 1994. He was a running back and kick returner for the team, and is ranked first among the NFL's all-time career leaders in number of punt returns and second in punt return yardage. He is also a two-time All-Pro and was twice named the NFL Alumni’s Kick Returner of the Year.
Sikahema grew up wanting to be a professional boxer and spent many years boxing at an amateur level. In 2008 he accepted a challenge from former baseball player Jose Canseco to fight him in a celebrity boxing match. The match was dubbed ‘The War at The Shore’, and Sikahema won by knockout in the first round. He donated his winnings to the family of Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski, a fallen officer of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Sikahema attended Brigham Young University, where he played football and earned his degree in Broadcast Journalism. He helped the Cougars win the national championship in 1984 as a junior. He is a member Of BYU’s Hall of Fame and is a 2013 inductee into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's Hall of Fame. He has earned two Emmys for his work in local television. In 2012, he was presented the Deseret News President’s Award in Salt Lake City, Utah for his weekly column, Vai’s View, which he penned from 2010 to 2012.
As a native of Nuku’Alofa, Tonga, English is Sikahema’s second language. His family moved to America when he was seven years old. He now lives in New Jersey with his wife, Keala. Together they serve in leadership positions in their church, are active in Boys Scouts of America and the United Way, and dedicate themselves to finding forever homes for at-risk children through adoption.
On Friday evening, November 22, 2013, Vai Sikahema was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame."
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo & Bio courtesy of WCAU, NBC 10
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