This oral history interview is a project of the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The legal rights of this material remain with the Outrigger Canoe Club. Anyone wishing to reproduce it or quote at length from it should contact the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions that are not factual. A full transcript of the video may be found below.
Interview by Danny Alvarez
November 1, 2021
DA: Today is Monday, November 1, 2021. We are in the Board Room of the Outrigger Canoe Club. I’m Danny Alvarez (DA), chair of the Outrigger Volleyball Committee. Today, it’s my pleasure to be talking with one of our most accomplished volleyball players, Tri Bourne (TB).
DA: Good morning, Tri. I know a lot about you, but could you tell us a little bit about you, like where you’re born and a little bit about high school?
TB: Yes, I was born (6/20/1989) in Kailua at Castle Hospital and then my family and I moved out to Kapolei and we lived out there for a long time, making the commute to town, basically to come to Outrigger every day where my mom was paddling for the Club since before I was born. We were all just kind of raised down here at the Club and all over the island. And then in high school, we moved out to Hawaii Kai and I went to the Academy of the Pacific through high school.
I played volleyball on the beach up here and surfed in the ocean over here and then played club volleyball for Outrigger and started playing in high school and being around all the great parents and just influential volleyball people that have come out of Hawaii, including yourself, played volleyball at USC and learned what it was all about playing on the mainland and playing at a higher level under higher pressure. And I think that’s when I really fell in love with the sport and I just loved pouring my whole soul into going for it and seeing how great I can be.
So I got the opportunity to play professionally indoors after college, and I played in Puerto Rico and Turkey for a brief period, about a year and a half. But I was always coming back to the beach because I knew that was my bread and butter. I knew that’s where I could kind of dominate. And I was playing out in California and kind of all over the U.S., jumping around to beach volleyball tournaments in my off season and got picked up by a veteran, John Hyden. And then I just became a full time professional beach volleyball player. And here we are about eight years later and somehow Olympian and have some wins under my belt, and it’s just a crazy journey that all started here at the Club.
DA: Awesome. Let’s move back just a little bit about your family. Mom and dad, siblings maybe give us a little insight into them.
TB: My mom is Katy Bourne. She’s from Minnesota originally. She was a skier and a multi-sport athlete in general. She moved out here after visiting and fell in love with Hawaii; the active lifestyle, I think. And soon after she met my dad (Peter Bourne), who had come out here to play football for the University of Hawaii. And at that point in his life, he was getting into endurance sports. He was helping pioneer the triathlons and all the endurance sports in the islands. And that’s when my mom got involved in those kind of events and was also starting to get into canoe paddling and that that took over her life. It was her new love. At that point, my sisters were born (Kai, 1985; and Britta, 1987) and I was born (1989) and we were down here at the Club, at mom’s paddling practices, and I remember being in the whaler with her coach while they’re out paddling. Both parents are athletes and teachers. My dad taught at AOP, Academy in the Pacific, where I went to high school and my mom taught at UH Lab School and she’s still there today, probably going on 35 years or something. I don’t know. I know she taught when you were there.
DA: For a while and she taught me.
TB: And she’s still doing it today. We tell her that she’s ready for retirement and she just doesn’t want to stop. She just loves the kids and sports. And so that kind of tells you why I’m such a big athlete and I love playing a sport for a living.
DA: The origins of name Tri is that short for triathlete? I mean, is it that simple or no?
TB: I never get a clear story on it, really. But my dad says that my name was going to be something else. And then the day that I was born, my mom just said she didn’t like that name. She wanted to name me Tri.
DA: What was the original name? Do you remember?
TB: My dad’s very Swedish and wanted Jan, but with a J. And my mom’s like, they’re going to call him jam. So my dad says whatever, you’re having the baby, we can name him whatever you want but if we hear him Tri, everyone’s going to think it’s because I do triathlons, which he didn’t really like, actually. But they went with Tri, and I’ve never met another Tri since. But I’m actually not named after triathlons, even though everybody says that on TV and whatnot.
DA: So it’s not.
TB: No, it’s not. I’m the third child from my mom’s side.
DA: Tri. OK. Well, when you think back of when you started here at the Club, was there kind of a moment or a friendship or something that kind of sticks out about those early years?
TB: I think I was really oblivious to what the potential was, what volleyball meant to this community and in Hawaii, but also just down the Club and how much of a hotspot it was in terms of quality of play and the knowledge that was being carried along by the elders over here. I literally was a beach rat down here. Surf. Make trouble, and then there’s courts upstairs. So go up there and play, and then I became friends with Brad Lawson and Reese Haine, and all of a sudden, Marc Haine’s up there on the court with us, and I didn’t really know what we were doing, but he kind of made us be a little more serious and hands on the ball. Do this, do that, you know, teaching us little stuff and we’re like, OK, whatever. And then we’re watching, you guys, Chris Crabb, like all the the older players and I just grew up around it. And really, we had nothing to do with our time. It’s like we got dropped off here, like it was daycare. So we went upstairs, got a volleyball and started playing, whether it’s dodgeball or soccer or whatever.
But we were just super competitive against each other. I think that was the biggest thing. So being super competitive, we just learned new skills. We weren’t really traditionally coached. So for me, the skill that I remember learning on the Baby Court was blocking because my friends could hit.
DA: Maddison (McKibbin) says the same thing.
TB: They could hit the crap out of the ball, and I didn’t hit that hard. Reese Haine could bounce the ball off the fence. I didn’t really have heat, but I learned how to penetrate over the net at an early age. So I learned how to shape my hands around the ball over the net, which is lower and most kids can’t do that because it’s a higher net. My pride and joy was blocking because I learned it at a higher level early on, so this is my thing. We just kept playing more and more and eventually we moved up to the big court and had all the the older players putting tournaments on for us.
And that was a big deal and high pressure. Oh, we got a tournament this morning, we got that pressure at an early age. And also just learned a lot of the skills and stuff that we didn’t realize kids in the mainland and around the world weren’t learning this stuff, we just thought it was normal and we were just trying to beat each other. Having those tournaments as kids was super special. I still say the biggest win of my life, although winning Manhattan (Beach) was pretty big, was beating Alika (Williams) in the Daddy Haine 4-Man.
DA: That was big. I remember.
TB: But I honestly liked those, especially Alika (Williams), because when we got older, towards the end of high school, me and Riley (McKibbin) were part of trying to learn and get a little more serious. And Alika, was the guy out there And I’m super grateful that he didn’t give us an inch, like he actually put pressure on.
DA: I don’t think he’d give anybody an inch. They didn’t give up one person.
TB: But now we go in the world and we’re just like, nobody can intimidate us because as a kid, we’re getting beat down by Alika Williams, you know?
DA: Let’s talk a little bit about blocking, you know, this visceral feeling of joy, relief of tension with blocking. So you got that from a young age and you’re kind of small really now on the world tour as a blocker. Tell us about that a little bit because you’re still a very dominant blocker at 6′ 5″. Talk a little bit about that blocking.
TB: Well, like I said, I learned it as a kid, so I was a beach rat. No one in my family played volleyball. I was just down here with all these volleyball players, Shoji, Haine, McKibben’s, and they were all polished volleyball players at a young age. They’re playing indoors, which I finally got invited to do and got to start learning from Dave Shoji and Mary (Shoji), like, you know, all the great indoor coaches. But I was never a top guy. I never really got the, it wasn’t disrespect, but I never got the respect because I wasn’t looked at as a great indoor volleyball player or all around volleyball player, I was more just an athlete, so I tried. I can play because I come from an athletic family and hang out with the kids all the time.
But when I started playing beach it was like, OK, you guys beat me indoors. You guys are all well-polished. But come out to the beach and this is where I’ve put in my time because I’ve been here at the Club. I was the one paddling. Not many of the volleyball kids were paddling and I was down here, surfing every day. I was paddling and surfing and playing volleyball after paddling like almost every day for a long stretch there. So that became my pride and joy.
And when I learned how to block and I felt that feeling of, I know how to block at a different level. I know how to shape my hands and do these things at a different level. I took a lot of pride in it, and I think I carry that on to today where I see guys on the world tour like, you’re big. But I know how to do things differently. I’ve learned the footwork, I’ve also watched Sean Scott growing up for I love the way he moves his hands and what.
DA: You guys are so comparable.
TB: I played with John Hyden and partners, right? It was like candy because I already loved watching and then Hyden was coming right from Sean Scott (his previous partner) and just taught me everything that he saw behind him, including the footwork stuff. We got a lot more detailed into that. And so for me, it’s like, yes, I want to be the best blocker, pound for pound in the world. And that’s kind of always been my thing. And blocking’s a love of mine. I just love trying to push it to the next level and learn new things.
DA: So with you and Trev (beach partner Trevor Crabb), I know sometimes you’re splitting. Recently, I’ve seen you go up to the net more.
DA: Was that a choice or are you guys making that decision in the game? Who’s hot or not or well, what’s what’s happening there?
TB: When we were kids, Trevor never really liked blocking. It’s kind of funny because he gets up high and he’s just as big as me. But he never really liked blocking. And what we figured out is that he has such a good sense for the game, and he has such a good feel. Off speed he’s touching everything. He’s putting his hand in the perfect spot. But when people are hitting, that’s my game. So we can send me up when there’s hitters. Towards the end of the games guys are going to hit more right. So we’re strategically sending me up to the net at certain times. But when we need a block, we send me and it’s not really like an ego thing because we’re both flying south, so it’s like we want to be good at every skill.
If there’s one skill we’re not good at, it’s like embarrassing to us. Like we want to be the most complete volleyball players out there. So for him, it’s like. I’m going to stay back because I can get the shots on defense because he has such a good sense, leading shots. And if they shoot around me, I’m OK with that because he loves chasing shots. And if they’re hitting, then I love that too right at the net. So it kind of just naturally progressed into that. But. yes, we’re split blocking, but when it comes down to it, we send me a pressure because from an early age, I’ve loved blocking, whereas at an early age he didn’t love blocking. And now he kind of does it more. He’s trying to catch up in terms of hard driven blocking.
DA: Let’s talk a little bit about Trev. So, Trevor and you have been friends forever. You were coming out of an illness that had kept you out. There was some talk about whether you could come back at all. Trevor had a few partners and some success with Mayor and I think Rosenthal for a little bit now. How did that come together, that friendship, then partnership talk a little bit about that.
TB: I was out for two years with the autoimmune disease following the 2016 season. And then at the end of 2018, I finally got my blood levels back to where I needed and the doctor cleared me. I wasn’t ready to play. I was down 30 pounds. I had lost 170 and I usually play around 200 and so I was still weak. But the doctor cleared me to play. Trev had lost like two tournaments in a row and John Mayer was kind of on his way out. Trevor and I were hanging out pretty much every day. Trev was my closest friend at that time. I couldn’t go out with my friends, and have some drinks or hang or do any physical activity. So he was over at night barbecuing, hanging out with me a lot, which I really appreciated. So I was following the sport very closely and where he was at, and I basically was joking. But I know Trevor has this fire in his belly and I knew where he was and he wasn’t satisfied. You and Mayer haven’t been doing so good and I got cleared. What do you have to lose? I think at first he was like, that doesn’t make sense. We’re both blockers or both left side players. For me, I just wanted to play the sport, and if I can go play with one of my best friends, it’ll be great.
But he’s in the middle of his career, getting better and better. So I didn’t think he would do it. And then, like a day later, he’s like, that’s great, let’s do it, whatever. And so we’re literally just basically winging it, and I think he knew my potential and he was the closest one to me at that time in terms of spending time with me. So he knew my fire and the work I was putting in behind the scenes. And I think he knew once I got back to full strength that I’d be a force to be reckoned with again. And I also feel like Trevor has been underestimated his whole career just because his style of play doesn’t make him look as good as he is. But I’ve played against him my whole career, and people maybe are giving me more credit.
No, he’s that good, you guys. It’s just like, it’s deceiving sometimes the way the style of play. So I knew his potential more so than other people, and he knew what I had if I could get back to full strength. And four tournaments in we went to FIVB and it was literally like, we’re just going to do it for fun to end the season and then we’re like, why would we break up? We can travel the world with my best friend now and just do it. It would be way more fun if we do it together and we’re succeeding. So it’s like, why not? And then we just kept getting better and better, and now we’re just like let’s see how far we can take this thing.
DA: We’ll talk a little bit about that. You were underestimating a little bit when you’re younger, especially on the indoor side. I know, especially with the Kawika Shoji’s and Spencer McLachlan’s, who had a little more traditional training, for sure. I know Trevor, too, with Chris (Crabb) and obviously Taylor (Crabb), who is incredible. Is that something that works this incredible fire? Is it good to be complimentary of each other or both of you guys feeling?
TB: I think I think it’s safe to say that Trevor and I have the biggest chips on our shoulder. I don’t know if I have as big a one as Trevor, but he’s. . .
DA: Got a big.
TB: I definitely do, though. Yes, he’s been. Having a little brother who’s just been so good at every level Trevor didn’t play volleyball at Punahou. He didn’t want to play basketball. He wanted to do his own thing. But he always loved beach volleyball. And then, at Long Beach (State), he was kind of hurt. He never got the recognition and people never really knew how good he was.
DA: Right when he was down. And yes, he’d always get hurt or something.
TB: Exactly. And you know, I played club with him and played on the beach with him. I wasn’t smashing him every time and we’re beating each other. But yet I was 16, so I know how good Trevor is. He’s just not like the performances he’s putting out. They aren’t telling the true story. But then you’ve got to give credit to Trevor, he’s got this. It’s all up to him in his mind what he thinks he’s capable of and other people think he’s crazy like everybody. You know, the way that he’s he talked about it at an early age, like he probably would have told you he’s I bet. At one point he told you he’s going to win Manhattan Beach and we’re like, OK, but whatever you say Trevor.
DA: I think he also said he was going to be NBA.
TB: He still says he’s going to be an NBA, and he owes Riley McKibbin $100 because they made a bet. But I guess technically you could still try. But that’s just Trevor. It’s all this self-confidence, no matter. It’s relentless, no matter what anyone else is thinking, no matter what the stats say, he’s got this confidence to him. Some people would call it false confidence, but then he turns it into reality. He backs it up. So it’s real. I mean, it’s real. It’s not false. You know, he just manifests whatever he wants. And for me, it’s like awesome to have a partner like that that’s so confident.
And it’s like he goes out on tour and guarantees victories now. And I think any other partner might be like, Oh my God, you just put so much pressure on us, but I just laugh with Trevor. And how cool would it be if we actually pulled it off and he guaranteed two victories in his career. And we won two. And he’s got three AVP victories to his name. It’s amazing, so it’s crazy.
DA: OK, let’s talk, then may be that’s a good segue into like your push for the Olympics. I know with the pandemic and kind of a new partnership, you guys got on the FIVB The World Tour. That’s a big part of the qualifying process. And you guys were kind of nip and tuck with Dalhouser and Lutena and I think also with Taylor, with Taylor, I think got a little bit ahead. Let’s talk about that and then maybe talk about you actually getting to the Olympics. So let’s talk about the grind to get there. Maybe a little bit of a disappointment at the end.
TB: For me, the Olympic journey started back in 2014, I think. wow, because me and Hyden are like third or fourth event on the world tour, a grand slam like crazy. We just came out of nowhere out of the qualifier and won the whole event. And all of a sudden we’re like, it’s Olympic qualifying, like we’re in position to qualify for the Olympics, so let’s go for it. And so we dove headfirst into it and went all out, and it’s a grind, a ton of pressure every event. And there’s a lot of tension between you and other U.S. teams and you’re traveling the world.
DA: And, you know, are you traveling together like with the contingency.
TB: All the teams travel separately, but you tend to see them a lot. And during that part, there’s a lot of tension. And I’m the young guy on tour. But you know, Jake Gibb’s giving me the side eyes and not talking to me and Casey Patterson’s extremely competitive and playing against Phil Dalhaussen, and winning every event, and he’s the best player of all time, in my opinion. So it was it was a crazy experience, very stressful and then I almost made it. We qualified, which is a whole other. . . There’s a country quota, right? So only two teams can go for each country.
DA: That’s right.
TB: And so I qualified with John Hyden, top 60 in the world that’s supposed to get to go. But we were third U.S. team, so we got cut. Which deep down, I saw these teams that I qualified over, like legit ten teams that I’ve qualified over in the Olympics, getting that Olympic label, which in our sport, it’s huge to brand yourself with that label because you can now bring in sponsor money and it’s just an Olympic label carries a lot of clout and you can have a bigger impact with it.
And so that was hard for me and then I was OK. But I’m young. I’m going to be the next guy. And then I was out for two years. I have to watch everyone else go on without me. I lost all my points. Obviously all my muscle. But Taylor Crabb came out at that point and he went from being the rookie on tour to the MVP while I was out. And I was so happy for him. But we’re all competitive too. I want him to do that kind of thing. I want it to be that guy. And so my point is this is just really stressful.
And we’re young and trying to figure out how to deal with that sort of thing and be friends with players on tour, but also compete with them. And the stress is just so high. So this time around, I got to do it with Trevor, and I was more of a veteran and handled it a bit differently and
really was able to keep the competitiveness on the court, but still compete really hard. We went at it again, and the old guys, Jake Gibb, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena and Jacob Taylor (?), who’s one of the best defenders in the world. And they barely beat us out. It’s another stressful time where I have broken my hand at one point, so I lost a lot of points that really hurt me and Trevor in that whole race. And then it literally came down to the last event.
We played pretty good towards the end, so we caught up and we were the last remaining in the Osava event and we were in the quarterfinals. And if we won the event, we would go to the Olympics as the number one team for the U.S. at the Olympics. But we had to win it. And Nick and Phil and Jake and Taylor were out. So we’re just sitting there, everyone’s watching. And we ended up losing to Brazil in the quarters and instead of being the first, we were the last.
And so there’s another (time) I was really devastated, genuinely happy for those other teams, especially Taylor (Crabb) who is like a younger brother to me. Literally, the younger brother of Trevor, I was happy for him. Always been happy for him because he’s just so humble too. He understands. He’s very compassionate about he wins, but is humble about it. And. So I was happy for him and genuinely I’m going to cheer for them in this Olympics because the last thing was stressful.
I should be there in the last one but on this one I didn’t have that feeling as much. So, I was devastated to miss two Olympics in a row that I had qualified for, but we lost out on the country quota. And that’s a dream of mine. Literally the biggest dream for me is to make the Olympics and obviously go for that.
DA: Can you talk a little bit then about this strange happenstance that gets you into the Olympics? So it is kind of crazy. There is a story of you driving or . . .
TB: It was insane. So yes, we don’t qualify and me and Trev go to another event. These guys are training, you know, stressful month where they’re just preparing for the Olympics because they’re going. And we, Trevor and I, were kind of backing off of training because we had a break for the Olympics where we weren’t going to play and we’re just going to have to watch them. I went to Las Vegas to visit family. My brother lives out there and we had a little family reunion out there. I brought my daughter out. My wife actually stayed at home because she was working and I went to my brothers. I was working out in his garage. I didn’t want to stop working out for some reason because I knew they were going to the Olympics and they were going to be the teams for the U.S. And I was like, I’m not going to let them come back from the Olympics and we’ll put our butts to and just solidify that they’re the best teams, you know, I want to be ready. So I just kept lifting hard and it was going to be hot in Tokyo and I was in Vegas and it was like 105 degrees in my brother’s garage and I’m working out kind of filming, you know how we do. And I actually made a video joking like, I’m ready for Tokyo if I get the call. And I took the video and then I was like, I’m not going to post that. I don’t want to interrupt what they’re doing and take stuff away. And I leave Vegas. I drove, I’m driving back with just me and my daughter in the truck. We’re halfway back at a gas station, Subway and Dairy Queen. I was figuring out where to go for lunch. We have a month off. Maybe, maybe now’s a good time for Dairy Queen.
DA: That’s great.
TB: Phone rings, Jake Gibb. Jake Gibb has never called me, we have an unspoken rivalry. Just so competitive you never really talk to me that much.
DA: And I think he’s got that with a lot of people.
TB: If you’re on his team, he’s the greatest teammate in the world. If not, it doesn’t give you anything. So he called me, I’m like, this is weird, because I know he’s in Tokyo. And like the back of my mind, I was like if I get a call from someone, that there’s only one reason, and so I answer my hello. And it’s like. I’m assuming you probably heard what happened. That’s the very first thing, he said, and now I don’t know what happened; Taylor tested positive for COVID. He said, I’ll be completely honest with you, I called Trevor first, which for me, was like super happy, but also this is my second Olympics. And if Trevor goes over me asking me like, Oh my God, like that, you know, that’s brutal too. But you know, it is what it is.
And so I heard him say that he called Trevor but Trevor hurt his back. What? I’m supposed to be playing with Trevor in a few days. So that day or the day before, Trevor had hurt his back, and I’m the one who hurts my back all the time. Trevor never hurts his back. He hurt his back golfing. Just like a freak accident. So now I’m calling you to see if you want to maybe fly out and give it a shot. I told him if you’re calling me to go to the Olympics, I’m ready. I’ve been in training for this for eight years. Mentally prepared, I was just working on the garage in Vegas for, like, you know, in 110 degrees. I’m going, if we go there, we’re going to win you know, I just kind of was fired up about it and I knew he was devastated.
So I was like, Well, if you’re calling me, then I’m going to bring fire to the team. That’s just totally been broken apart. And he kind of perked up and says yes, all right. Let’s do it then. And so we hang up and then Sean Scott calls. You’ve got to get to L.A. and get tested and then and we’ll fly out as long as you’re negative. And so I’m driving back another two and a half hours by myself with my daughter in the car, and I took some videos because I had started a YouTube channel and I was just driving. I’m driving to Tokyo right now and it’s crazy. So I get back a night or two later, I fly out secretly and then I just waited there until Taylor had not passed his last test.
Taylor texted me, super respectful. I’m out. I’m positive on my last test. You’re in. Good luck. All positive. Just super good guy. Obviously most devastating moment of his career by far. And I was kind of fired up back at him. This doesn’t mean anything I’m doing this for you guys. When your team represent Hawaii boys, you know, all that kind of stuff is a cool moment with Taylor and then shut up and just ride it out.
DA: Talk a little bit about the experience. And I mean, no fans which was kind of crazy.
TB: It’s a bit helpful, though.
DA: Oh, really?
TB: Well, because I’m just jumping into it, I didn’t know what to expect. And so you hear a lot about the distractions of the Olympics that your family’s there and there’s fans everywhere and you’re supposed to go watch all the events. And there’s a lot of distractions there. All the distractions were cut out. On the way out. I called it in the sports psych because I’m going to need you here and you’re going to meet up every day, which we did in the village. And so I just kept my mental right where I needed it. The Olympic qualifying process is so difficult and stressful but I was ready. I had been in that grind already for a long time, showed up kind of had a positive attitude like Jake and Rich, their coach told me, the only thing I can do is put the team up and bring fire because they were in the dumps. They were all really devastated. So that was my role, come in, fired up with a positive attitude and just try to make the most of what we had.
And by the time I got there, it was, OK, let’s go. I was all smiles. They had wiped the board clean and I had talked with Taylor. Taylor was now our coach before every match. He ran the scouting report. We were coached on face time. Sit him down. OK, Taylor, you’re up. And he would run it. Coaches wouldn’t even do it. OK, here’s what I got. He had watched film, which was the coolest thing ever because now I’m learning.
I’m hearing how Jake Gibb thinks about the game, learning from Taylor and their coach. And then I’m actually on the team for once, whereas they were always my enemies and they would never tell me this stuff. So it’s just a really cool experience in that sense. Like this team were actually Team USA for once. And then, you know, representing Taylor and the Crabb family because, you know, the Crabb family. Trevor, Paula, Chris, they all want it. They have a massive family here, everyone in Hawaii, they are super proud to have that Olympic experience. And I knew how special I was to my family, so obviously to theirs as well. And I just went out to try to represent everyone in Hawaii, their family, my family and put Taylor’s name on the hat. Jake had put his name on the hat as well just to make sure that he knew that this is this spot and that he earned it and should be out here and just make it really like a close team environment and tell Jake what my set is. And then we were winging it from there.
DA: It was awesome. I know in our family we wouldn’t miss it. We were surrounded and it was awesome. Maybe, you know, have a couple more closing things. I know you’re still fairly young, but you’re a vet.
TB: I guess watching maybe Gibbs farewell tour. I don’t know. Maybe watching Tom Brady a little bit, do you think? And then I think having to sit out the two years, do you think about, Hey, I got ten more good years in me or I know you saying you and Trevor’s bodies are a little beaten up.
DA: Do you go until you go. Or are you do you say, you know, 45 like Haydn? What are you thinking about.
TB: Hyden’s like 48.
DA: But oh, he’s still playing. Yeah, I forgot. I thought he retired. Yeah, he’s still playing. You still go. Like, So do you? Do you think about that?
TB: Yeah, I mean, for sure, guys. John Hyden and ? back in the day, I think. But then John Hyden raised his bar in terms of what’s possible. And I’ve seen because I’ve been on tour with Jake and Nick and Phil and Casey Patterson and Rosie.
My whole career I’ve seen their routines change by seeing heightened in the way he goes about his business and adapts his body as he gets older and his routines. So he’s changed the sport, and Jake fully took that on and the way that he goes about his business and does his work based on what he needs to do at his age, which is put in a lot more work. It’s just so incredible. And for me, learning at a young age, I think that’s huge. So I think I can play to whatever age I want to.
I don’t look at the sport like I want to just play just the play, I want to have a goal that’s way out there and just see if I can do it kind of thing. And once I start taking a step back and I’m not able to kind of raise my own bar and push beyond where I’ve been, I think I’ll be done. But I’m not going to make that decision until till it comes. But learning from the older guys, I think it’s definitely possible I can play as long as I want to. And our bodies are beat up right now, but that’s just because we’re at the end season.
DA: Can you tell us some of your favorite memories of the Club.
TB: I guess the first thing that comes to mind is being really young and being in the whaler as a kid. With the paddling coach and my mommy on the canoe, and that was just life for me. I was going to mom’s paddling practice and hanging out here, playing on the canoe rollers as a kid when everyone’s eating dinner, just that stuff is what stands out for me. The sense of community at the Club, knowing all the workers and aunties and uncles and your friends are there. And it’s just that sense of community, I think is is the number one thing.
And then the second memory is probably the baby court, sitting on the wall and my friends drinking milkshakes and pestering each other, throwing sand at each other, throwing tantrums and, you know, playing volleyball and just hanging out with friends. I think that was the biggest thing on this whole Club is just the sense of community. I was kind of born into here.
DA: Did you ever think at that time about a professional career that, you know, like 14? Did this look like a professional career?
TB: I was the kid that was just here goofing around like when I first went and played in indoor. You know, that’s why I’m saying, like the other kids were kind of polished and had a vision of what they wanted to do and because their parents maybe were coaching, you know, high school or college or, Dave Shoji or Chris McLachlin or Marc Haine, who had played in college or, you know, all you guys. You know, it’s just goofing around was just having fun until like maybe I made all state in high school and then I was like, Oh, I can play in college, maybe. And I was sending the letters out to everyone, didn’t get much responses because nobody knew me and I wasn’t like a big high school player. I played and then had to play for Maryknoll. But luckily, Riley McKibbin knew that I was good.
DA: And now that’s great VIDEO .
TB: Send the USC coach over to see me, and that’s kind of when it started is when when I made All-State team, I was like, Oh, I’m actually good at this and these guys are going to big colleges. So maybe I can. And then I did. And then going to USC they treated us like professional athletes, and that’s when I was like, Wow. I’m good at this, I’m kind of elite. And then I was like, I’m going to give it a shot at Pro, and I think I just fell in love being raised by athletes at an athletic, competitive athletic club, canoe racing for ten years as a kid and all the regattas and feeling that pressure of being on the line. You know, that’s like the most pressure I’ve ever felt in a sporting event. I’ve just been raised to compete and I love it.
And being on the beach, by the ocean and playing volleyball, are my two favorite things. So beach volleyball is what I do, and that’s why I work so hard. It is like. If I work hard enough at this, I can do this maybe for my whole career, and maybe I’ll never have to get a job.
DA: This was awesome. I this is my first one. This is a great pleasure. It was great. Thank you.
2005 5th Place, OCC Boys 16, USA Volleyball Junior National Championships
2006 2nd Place, OCC Boys 17, USA Volleyball Junior National Championships
2006 1st Place, Daddy Haine 4-Man Volleyball Tournament, with Marc Haine, Duff Janus and Nate Smith
2007 2nd Place, OCC Boys 18, USA Volleyball Junior National Championships
2007 Selected to USA Boys Youth National Indoor Team with Brad Lawson and Erik Shoji
2008 1st Place, MPSF Volleyball Championships, USC
2008 Selected to US Men’s Junior National Indoor Team
2009 Selected to US Men’s Junior National Indoor Team
2009 1st Place MPSF Volleyball Championships, USC
2009 1st Place, NCAA National Championship, USC, outside hitter
2009 1st Team, All MPSF
2011 Tied 3rd Place, NCAA National Championships, USC
2011 3rd Team AVCA All-American
2011 2nd Team, All MPSF
2011 5th Place, US Men’s Senior National Indoor Team, Pam American Games
2012 Made international career debut
2014 1st Place, FIVB Berlin Grand Slam
2014 FIVB Top Rookie
2016 3rd Place, FIVB World Tour Finals
2018 4th Place, FIVB Las Vegas w/Trevor Crabb
2018 1st Place, FIVB Qinzhou w/Trevor Crabb
2019 Tied 5 Place, FIVB Tokyo w/Trevor Crabb
2019 4th Place, FIVB World Championships w/Trevor Crabb
2019 3rd Place, FIVB Chetumal w/Trevor Crabb
2020 Tied 9th Place, FIVB Cancun w/Trevor Crabb
2021 Tied 5th Place, FIVB Sochi w/Trevor Crabb
2021 Tied 9th Place, 2020 Olympic Games, Men’s Beach Volleyball, Tokyo w/Jake Gibb
2001 1st Place, Boys 12, Kamehameha Regatta
2001 1st Place, Boys 12, Leeward Kai Regatta
2006 1st Place, Boys 16, OHCRA Championships
2008 1st Place, Boys 16, Kamehameha Regatta
2008 1st Place, Boys 16, OHCRA Championships
2009 1st Place, Sophomore Men, Macfarlane Regatta