Returning All-State Fab 15 selection Captain Whitlock has studied, worked and persevered. The Kalaheo senior guard dropped 40 in the preseason opener against Saint Louis, but one day later suffered a hip flexor injury. Captain chatted via phone and text for this Q&A about Kalaheo basketball, being the son of a UH basketball star, producing and rapping his own music, and his pride in his Marshallese heritage.
Q&A / Favorites
Favorite athlete: Elfrid Payton (Orlando Magic)
> “He’s a slasher and he D’s up. That’s why I like him.”
Favorite team: USC football.
> “This is my dad’s favorite team, so I was raised in it. Every time they came to Hawaii, we’d be there in the front row.”
You never wanted to play football in high school?
> “It’s not my thing.”
Favorite food (at home): dad’s chicken wings.
> “OK, I’m telling you, my dad (Tes Whitlock) makes the best chicken wings. He makes all kinds of flavors and it’s his favorite thing to cook. He doesn’t cook that many things, but he has the wings down. He has his original, kind of spicy. And then my favorite is the honey barbecue. Then he has lemon pepper. He does all kinds of stuff,.”
Could you make it yourself?
> “I don’t pay attention.”
Favorite food (eating out): Paniolos in Kailua.
> “I eat the same thing every time: kalua pig burrito every day after school if we don’t have practice.”
What can you cook? French toast.
> “I’ve made this a lot, when my dad’s sleeping, that’s my go-to. We buy the specific french toast bread. I have everything for it.“
Favorite movie: Creed.
> “I related to it, where he’s trying to get away from his dad and how his dad was the popular one. He didn’t want anyone to know who his dad was. I always watch it for motivation. I love my dad, but I want my own identity.”
Favorite TV show: Martin.
Favorite music artist: Alex Wiley
> “He’s an artist who produces, raps, sings. I found him on SoundCloud. Everything he says, I was vibing with. He’s been my favorite artist for a couple of years now. He’s not on the radio, kind of underground. He’s more like rap/hip-hop, but with his own style.”
Coach Rob Pardini mentioned that you enjoy performing and producing music. How did that begin and what are your goals in that?
> “I started making beats, no vocals, instrumentals, basically. I learned a little music program on my laptop and I kind of fell in love with the artistry of creating. Craftsmanship. That’s when I knew I had an interest. Tenth-grade year, one day, my dad went out and I got on the mic and accidentally rapped on one of my instrumentals. It didn’t sound bad and I put it on SoundCloud, and my friends at school said, ’It’s not bad, you should run with it.’ “
Do you sing and do you wish you had more equipment?
> “I don’t go down there, I don’t sing. If I do on a record, I do know how to use pitch correction to at least sing on key. I’m very content with what I have. I have a laptop that has all of my programs on there, my sound samples. Two speakers, a mic stand and a little keyboard that I play keys on. That’s basically all I need.”
What about selling beats? How do you do that?
> “I reach out to some artists who are looking for beats and I’ll lease them a beat, or make them a beat that suits their style and they’ll pay me through PayPal. I mostly sell beats for exposure, get my music out there, even if it’s not my song technically, that’s the mission.”
So you go by your full name on SoundCloud?
> “I use my regular name, it’s too weird for people to call me a stage name. I don’t want to change it. I don’t use the Whitlock part, just Captain in all caps.”
What does dad think?
> “He’s cool with it. He lets me be myself. I respect that. I don’t show him too much of it, he doesn’t get involved. He heard a few songs when I was a sophomore, but he doesn’t really listen, I make so much music. He minds his own business. He likes hip-hop. His favorite artist is Tupac.”
Favorite teacher and class (elementary through HS): Ms. Koopman (Science/Human Anatomy).
> “Human anatomy. Something about it is pretty interesting, how the body works and functions. She teaches it in a way that’s interesting. We dissected piglets, but we’ve been working with bones and human muscle. She had skeleton models and we had pieces of clay that we roll out into make-believe models.”
Favorite place to relax: The studio (my living room).
Favorite motto/scripture: Iron sharpens iron as man sharpens fellow man. Pr. 27:17.
What your mom (Lucy Peter) always says that you can’t forget:
> ”Always give it your all, in anything you do.”
What your dad always says that you can’t forget:
> “Where the mind goes, the body follows.”
> “This one just reminds me to keep a positive outlook on things because if i have a positive mindset, my body will produce positive actions. I always remember this when I’m in a tough game.”
Your mom moved back to the Marshall Islands awhile ago?
> “She lives in Majuro. She moved back my ninth-grade year. She works for United Airlines so she flies here often. She’s here right now.
“When they separated, I was devastated. I was so used to my mom being around and her doing things for me. It really changed my life in that area. It was a weird adjustment. I spend more time with myself and that’s when I started making my music, finding someone to talk to. I used to really talk to my mom a lot, share my feelings. When she left, I needed an outlet, a way to share. So I started talking to my mic, I guess.”
What is the history or background of your first and last name?
> “So my dad always wanted me to be a leader, not a follower. He named me Captain because wherever I go, he wanted my name to remind me to be a leader. When I was young, I used to ask why didn’t you give me a regular name ‘cause everyone used to ask. I wasn’t really feeling it, but when I got older I started liking it. I started to embrace it more.”
How does basketball affect your daily life during the season and offseason?
> “Basketball is a year-round thing for me. With my dad running his own basketball club (OTB) I’m often at his practices and workouts. During the season, with Coach Rob (Pardini), we practice almost every day of the week. and this year we started working out at CROSSFIT KAILUA, which really helped my with my strength and quickness.”
Your earliest memories of basketball when you started playing:
> “I was 10 years old playing at the Boys and Girls Club.”
What are your ultimate dream and bucket list goals? I’ve always wanted to tour the world performing music. That’s always been a dream of mine.
> “I’ve never considered doing live performance, but I’d definitely consider it. I’d travel to perform in a heartbeat.”
How do dads and sons separate sports and coaching from life?
> “My dad tells me, ‘During the regular season, the deal is that’s my team and he’ll let me run my team. He doesn’t want to be a distraction. When it’s OTB season, it’s his season. It doesn’t really stop. In the car, we talk about it, at the dinner table, especially if it’s a bad game or something I can learn from, he’s going to drive it in and make sure I understand.”
There’s a lot of unfair stigma these days about Micronesian kids. Do you have any thoughts about that and how the newest immigrants — Samoans, Tongans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Koreans, etc. — have always been treated the worst?
> “Yeah, so my mom is from the Marshall Islands. Majuro to be exact. i know exactly what you mean by the stigma that comes along with being an immigrant ball player. Many of my cousins around the island tell me there stories of coaches discriminating on them or cutting them from the team. i think it’s pretty sad. Last year, I went to school in the Marshall Islands for a couple months. Great experience for me to see a whole new perspective of basketball and of life.
“And you are right, those guys can really BALL. Having that label of being a “Micronesian” ball player is something that most wouldn’t be proud of. However, I am proud to tell everyone that I AM a Micronesian ball player and I don’t care about the label or anything attached to that title. I want to inspire more athletes like me who grew up playing ball at Crane Park and Makiki Park. Without those experiences I learned when I was playing with the men at those parks, I would never be where I am today.”