Gatorade Soccer Star Klink Loves His Li-hing Mui Apples

Kalani’s Leo Klink may be the ultimate teammate, but this doesn’t spare him from a little ribbing. His selection as the Hawaii Men’s Gatorade Player of the Year last month has been the source of some.

“They say, ‘Come on, Gatorade Player of the Year’ – stuff like that,” Klink laughed.

For all his skills on the soccer field, it is Klink’s character that separates him from others, to hear his Abunai coach Aundrea Toner tell it.

“He has an amazing personality – he’s just a genuine, hard-working, very sincere kid,” Toner said. “He has a unique character about him. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to be good.”

Klink, who will be a senior, was one of the catalysts in Kalani’s stellar 2012 soccer season, scoring 25 goals (and adding five assists) as the team went 15-2 under coach Michael Ching and made it all the way to the Division I state championship game. Most recently, he competed for his Abunai Club Team at the Youth Soccer Far West Championships in Arizona. This week, Klink is in Oregon for an Olympic Development program. He recently took some time away from the practice field to visit with MidWeek‘s East Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory?

When I was at my first soccer practice, and was 7 or 8 years old, my friend was fooling around with the ball and bullying his brother in good fun. I ran up and stole the ball from him.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? My mom (Hiroyo). She took me to practice all these years. Even when I would practice by myself at the park, she would drive me there and wait and watch me until I was finished. She’s always supported me all-around.

Is there a player whose game you have tried to emulate? Quite a few, but it would be my teammate, Kazuto Moribe. He’s always been good, and I look up to him. He always shows me up, and it motivates me to become a better player.

What website do you go to the most? Facebook or Tumblr.

What item could you not live without? The computer.

What is in your iPod?

Social apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and music, of course.

Do you play video games? Yes, I play a lot. I only play on the PC. I have a Japanese GameCube, but I don’t play it too much.

What is your least favorite household chore? I don’t have any chores. Once in a while, my mom makes me take out the trash.

What part of your individual game will you try and work on this off-season? Probably my shooting and my dribbling. I’ve lost that right now, and I’m trying to get back into better shooting habits – like with my accuracy.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself as a nurse. I won’t be married yet, so I’ll probably have a girlfriend and I’ll be living in either San Francisco or Hawaii.

You are stuck on Kaho’olawe and can have only one food. What would it be? Probably li-hing mui apples.

Who would be your celebrity date for the prom? Probably (singer) Tila Tequilla.