Q&A: Campbell pitcher Jamin Kalaola

Campbell ace Jamin Kalaola started off the regular season with a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over Mililani. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

It’s the kind of opening statement that any pitcher would love to have.

In Campbell’s OIA West opener against powerhouse Mililani last week, senior Jamin Kalaola fired a two-hit shutout with four strikeouts and no walks. It was less than perfect in his eyes, but the Sabers will gladly take that kind of performance every time.

Longtime coach Rory Pico is always about team, but praised Kalaola for his excellence and work ethic in the classroom and athletics.

“His overall attitude, he’s such a great kid. He’s a team player,” Pico said.

Kalaola chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Sunday. The feature story about the Campbell hurler is in Tuesdays edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which you can click here to read.

Jamin Kalaola
Campbell baseball

Q&A / Favorites

Athlete: Randy Johnson. Outside of baseball, it’s Kobe Bryant. 

Team: Seattle Mariners.
> That was the first MLB game I watched in person. This was with my Ewa Little League team in the Regionals. I forgot what age group. The stadium is super nice, and it’s in the middle of the city. It was crazy getting there. You can see the football stadium from there.

Food (at home): Hamburger Steak w/mushroom gravy
> My grandma (Edwina Kalaola) actually. She makes it for me.
Does she spoil you?
> Yeah, she does actually.
You don’t mind.
> No.
She makes it from scratch?
> When I ask her for it, she makes it.
It sounds like she puts her special touch in it. Could you make it?
> Yeah. I’ve made it before with her help. Technically, I made it. 

Food (eating out): California Pizza Kitchen.
> I like the BBQ Chicken, but I usually just snack on the chips with the artichoke dip. 

Hobby outside of sports: Going to the beach
> My favorites are Makua, Yokohama Bay, Depots in Nanakuli. Depots is more for family. 

Movie: You Don’t Mess With The Zohan
> It’s an Adam Sandler movie.
Is it timeless?
> Yeah, it’s just stupid funny. Me and my friends, I can see us doing that in the future just for fun. Just for fun. 

TV show: Criminal Minds
> I love Criminal Minds. It’s pretty crazy, it’s like you’re with the cops and investigators. Me and my family we try to guess who actually did it.

Video game: Fortnite
> It’s like Call of Duty, except you build stuff. It’s an all-around game. It’s pretty fun. You can play on Xbox, PS4 or a computer. It’s a free game. There’s different modes.
Are you addicted to this game?
> Not as bad as a lot of people in this world.
So that means out of 0 to 10, it’s around a 4?
> Yeah. 

Music artist: Shaggy
> I just like his style, his voice and the way he raps fast. 

GPA: 3.964
I find that people who really challenge themselves know their GPA down to the decimal points. Like you.
> It feels good knowing i’m trying my best as a student and an athlete, and my parents have helped me maintained that GPA through high school.
This is with Advanced Placement classes?
I decided to take an AP class last year and it brought down my GPA a little bit. I’m taking one more this year. 

Class: Building and Construction.
> For one, I had to use a ruler to the 16th of an inch, we built a chair for ourselves using different tools.
So it was fun?
> Yeah, it’s fun.

Place to relax: Home

Motto/scripture: “Your whole life is a manifestation of the thoughts that go on in your head.” Lisa Nichols
Who is Lisa Nichols?
> I saw this quote online and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since. This quote is related to the Laws of Attraction. Basically, what you think, you put into existence. Good thoughts make good things happen. 

What your mom (Chantelle Kalaola) says that you cant forget: “Your room better be clean before I come home.”

What your dad (Jason Kalaola) says that you can’t forget: “Follow your dreams and don’t stop until you reach it.”

What your coaches say that you can’t forget: “Do the right thing.”

How does your sport affect your daily life during the season and offseason?
> Playing baseball takes a lot of my free time during season, which isn’t a bad thing because during the offseason time goes by slow without practicing/playing baseball everyday. 

What middle and elementary schools did you attend?:
> Iroquois Point Elementary School
> Ewa Makai Middle School

What youth teams did you play for? What club do you play for and what are the daily commitments like year-round?:
> Youth Team: Ewa Heat
> Clubs: Team Hawaii, Hawaii Rockies
> For my youth team, we were committed year-round playing baseball straight. Practiced five days a week for 3 hours but it helped us to compete in the leagues we played in. As for my club teams, I just had to prep in the summer or right after high school season was over to get ready for the showcases I was going to attend. I basically prep year-round for all of my trips with these clubs, whether it be during off-season or during season to prep myself and solidify my mechanics for the showcases.

Some people would say, no, my children will play three, four, five sports until high school. Then they can choose.
> Playing multiple sports while you’re still trying to find what you’re good at is fine, but once you know what you’re good at, I stuck with two sports (I played football before). That way you can develop physically and mentally at both sports. 

Where have you travelled for sports and school activities?
> Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Arizona
> Virginia was for a sixth-grade school trip. We went to DC. It was offered to the whole sixth grade level. Going to the White House, it was super big. We only went into the West Wing and it was still pretty big. 

What do you like to do — or what’s something else you’re good at — that would surprise most about you?:
> I like to dance for fun, mainly doing the new dance moves that you see in Vines or on other social media platforms 
This is hip-hop?
> Hip hop, not really organized dancing, just like people on the internet doing random moves. Me and my friends try to copy that and we get pretty good at those.

> 1. Dubai. I know it’s pretty wealthy city. I’d like to see the buildings over there.
> 2. Italy. I’d go everywhere. Probably Rome first.
> 3. Tahiti. I don’t know how to say it. There’s that one beach with the perfect wave. It’s a massive wave. I would go there just to watch it. I wouldn’t to ride it.

Let’s take a look at 2017.
Season: Jamin Kalaola, Campbell 6-0, 1.83, 42 IP, 28 SO, 13 BB

started vs Kaiser, 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 K, 2 BB (no decision)
All-State: Honorable mention

> When I was probably around middle school, 12, 13 years old. I actually wanted to quit baseball at one point, but my parents kept me in it. One of my coaches talked to me. Ever since, my love for the game kept going up the more I played.
> It’s mostly leagues with some tournaments. We’d have a month or two off, but in that time, we’d still be doing something for baseball. It wasn’t as tough as it was during the season.
> The one thing my dad saw wasn’t physical, but he saw I was a quick learner. He knew whatever I went into, I would learn quickly.
> I’m the oldest. I have two sisters and one brother.

> Actually, I thought about going to Kamehameha. I tried in ninth grade, but I got re-listed so I put it on the side and didn’t care anymore.
What would you say to a Campbell hater?
> Going to Campbell, they have all the tools for a good education. It depends on how a person uses those tools. Some people might blame the system, but it’s teaching the kids how to use the tools.

So far… vs. Mililani: 2-hit shutout, 4 K, 0 BB
> I could’ve done better. I missed some spots. I was fortunate enough that they hit straight to my defense. My next outing, I want make sure I hit my spots.

Height: 6-3. (My dad is 6-3. He played baseball when he was young. He played football at Aiea. My mom went to Pearl City.)
Weight: 190.

Biggest lesson of 2017
> Probably just to work hard. There’s going to be times when you feel your best, but that’s the perfect time to work. I don’t want to work out, but that’s the best time. Then you won’t regret it, and you build up day after day.

> I have offers from JCs, one in Oregon, and the rest are D-III. At this point, I probably would go to a JC, but I don’t know know. It all depends. I was thinking of majoring in civil engineering, something like that.

Pro vs College
> I haven’t really set my mind on one thing. I leave my options open.

> When it’s on, my split. I’m bringing it back. I think trying to control used to be a factor for a lot of pitchers. Once you control it, I don’t throw it that much, that pitch is pretty good.

Best advice about the future
> A coach told me this. What you do today determines your tomorrow.

What’s the best thing about Campbell this year, and how as a team do you deal with expectations and hype?
> I think our best attribute would probably be our teamwork. All of us have played ball together since we were 10 years old and that makes us a stronger team because we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Being able to identify that makes us a stronger team, makes us a tough team to beat. It gives us a tight bond.

How do you explain all the development of baseball talent on the West side>
> All the youth programs. I give props to my club, the Ewa Heat, because that’s where my skills got really tightened up. Gotta give big ups for teaching kids the game the right way. They put their passion for the sport into the kids, which makes it even better.


  1. Ewa Transplant March 6, 2018 8:48 pm

    This is a genuine kid. He is a role model for the younger generation coming up. I wish only the best of luck for this kid.

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