Q&A with Sophomore Basketball Player and Honey Mustard Enthusiast CooXooEii Black

CooXooEii Black is a sophomore starting forward on the CC men’s basketball team. The Wyoming native currently leads the team in blocks and is second on the team in points-per-game this season. The men’s team is off to a 3-1 start and plays their next home game on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. against Caltech at Reid Arena.

Interview by BEN HALL

Photo courtesy of CC Athletics

Ben Hall: You guys are off to a strong start so far this season at 3-1. Congrats on that. What do you guys need to do as a team to keep that momentum going this season?

CooXooEii Black: Our one loss we came out with low energy… We were kind of sluggish… I think our key is to have high energy, be excited to play, and a big stress for us this year is playing for each other.

BH: Do you have any secret talents?

CB: I can freestyle. I like to mess around and rap.

BH: Do you have a Soundcloud?

CB: No [laughs], I don’t have a Soundcloud. I don’t put any of my music out, I usually just do it and then that’s that. I also took a year of violin lessons, so I can kinda-sorta play the violin.

BH: Do you have a rap name?

CB: Yeah, I call myself Young Jrake.

BH: Clever. Individually, you’re also doing very well this season, averaging five points per game more than last season. What were you doing in the offseason to prep for this season?

CB: I worked at a rec gym back home, so basically my entire summer was watching the desk, and then working out and playing basketball, so it was a perfect set up. I got a lot of gym time in.

BH: Which shoe do you tie first?

CB: I think it’s my left shoe. I actually have the Lebron 11s, so it’s Velcro, but I think I go left-right putting them on and then left-right tying.

BH: Who’s your favorite player who you try to model yourself after?

CB: I’m a big fan of Hakeem Olajuwon, The Dream. He was really shifty down-low, had all these really silky-smooth moves, and a lot of pump fakes. You just really never knew what to expect when guarding him. So I like to do that. I like to pump fake, spin, and be unpredictable.

BH: What goals do you have for yourself for this season?

CB: For me, I just want to continue to mature as a player. Make smarter decisions on the court that’ll help my teammates and help me play better… Just really fill my role and help my team win.

BH: What’s your favorite condiment?

CB: I’d have to go honey mustard. I really love honey mustard.

BH: Do you see any parallels between honey mustard as a condiment and the way that you play or train?

CB: You think of honey mustard as this out-there sauce, like honey and mustard together… you want to train differently than the normal training to get better results. You gotta have a different mindset than everybody else, you can’t be afraid to fail. You just gotta try to set yourself apart by doing things differently.

BH: If you were going to play one other sport at CC, what would it be?

CB: If I were to play another sport, I’d probably go with soccer. I was never good at soccer, but I think if you were nasty on the soccer field that would be pretty fun. Just being able to handle the ball with your feet would be really cool.

BH: Is there anything else on, o off the court that makes you, you?

CB: I guess my past few classes have really been making me realize how important indigenous communities need leaders. Basketball’s really big back on my reservation, so I’ve just been really humbled to be able to play basketball and kind of step into a leadership position through that, and that gives me a lot of motivation to keep working hard and doing as best I can.

Black is ready to give his all this season. He’ll be practicing his sneaky pump fakes and his honey mustard like training over the next weeks. You can see him in action on Wednesday, Dec. 13 in Reid Arena.

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