Interview with Owen McKibbin – December 2013
1.) You attended the athletically world renown Punahou high school n Hawaii. Tell people about your accolades there?
A: Punahou was amazing. I was the first kid to play Varsity soccer as a freshman. Was also the last guy cut from the varsity volleyball team. Unfortunately, hanging around much older kids got me into some trouble so I was shipped off to North Carolina to live w my redneck brother for my sophomore year. Probably the smartest thing my Mom ever did. Made me appreciate Punahou more and what I had. Came back for my junior and senior year and dominated!!
2.) What do you remember about playing at USC? Was Adam Johnson any good?
A: SC was awesome. I was a walk on as a freshman. The two mainstay seniors both played outside hitter. Rottman and Chavez. I was very raw… It was very hard for me to deal with being on the bench knowing I could absolutely excel at that level. Got my shot at the very end of the year. We played #! UCSB and were getting demolished. Lost first two games and down big in the 3rd. Yoder put me in and I went off!!! Daily Trojan wrote a badass article about it. We lost in 5 but my stats and performance were off the hook. Coach of the Natl Sports Festival was there scouting a bunch of other dudes. He approached me and said he had no idea who I was but invited me to the tryouts the next day. Made the team and ended up starting and kicking ass for the West team. We won the Gold Medal that summer and spent 2 weeks at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
AJ was fucking amazing the entire time he was at SC. We were best of friends and spent a lot of time together.
3.) What were some of the highlights of your AVP career?
A: I would say the highlight of my AVP career was finishing 3rd and 4th with Walmer. Gotta believe that we were the shortest team to make it that far in that era. I did all the blocking. Boulliane and I beat Karch and Frohoff in Hermosa at the World Championships on center court also. Once again, my 7 101/2 inch reach did all the blocking!!! Kinda crazy when u actually think about it. Walmer and I beat a lot of good teams. Stevenson and Powers. Whitmarsh and Ack. Others that I can’t remember. Brian Lewis and I also took down some great teams and we absolutely were the clear champions off the court!!!
4.) In your opinion, who was the best team you faced during your playing days?
A: Had the hardest time playing against Sinjin and Stoklos. Probably cuz I practiced against them a lot and they were just flat out waaaay better VB players than I was. I honestly felt that I was never really that great of a VB player but was very fit and hated to lose against guys that were kinda soft. I came from a contact sport mentality and always thought a lot VB players were kinda pussies.
5.) Biggest win you recall?
A: Beating Karch in Hermosa was BIG!!!
6.) Who was the best player you competed against?
A: Honestly thought Stokey and Sinjin along w Hovland were hands down the absolute hardest guys to play against.
7.) Did Tim Walmer carry you in those awesome finishes you had with him?
A: Walmer and I played so damn well for some reason. We didn’t even practice together but we had such good chemistry. At our peak, I feel we were one of the best hand setting duos on the beach. He would dig a ball sky high and behind the back line and I would get there and set butter with my hands almost every time. With a good set, which I feel was my best skill. Especially in transition, Walmer was surgical.
8.) Why does every AVP player from that time period consider you the best story teller in the player’s tent?
A: Ha!!! Probably because I was and always have been fearless and have no problem approaching whoever and making small talk. If I could do it all again, I would most definitely be more focused on the actual VB part of the entire process. I definitely didn’t hesitate to have fun at any cost. Remember though, the entire time I played at USC and thru my entire pro beach career, I had a broken spine but didn’t know. I was self medicating the entire time. On a scale of 1-10, my pain was a 12+ almost ALL THE TIME!! Wish I could have been a little more pain free and a little more focused to see just how good I could have been.
9.) Who is in better shape, you or Tony Horton of P90 X?
A: Tony Horton looks like he’s in good shape. He also looks weird to me and doesn’t seem like the kind of guy u could have a bunch of beers with and exchange the kinds of stories that I’m sure our audience likes to hear. I like to enjoy life and have fun. Working out is how I make a living but it’s not the only thing I like to talk about or do. Life is too short. In my opinion, he has done an amazing job marketing himself but has done too much cosmetic stiff. His face looks weird, just saying. Hey, I have a hairy back. Just a fact.
10.) How did your modeling career come about and how well has it treated you?
A: Modeling has been very good to me. I had braces on ‘til I was 28!!!! It allowed me to see the World and make a great living. Unfortunately I never really fit into a lot of the clothes that I was hired to wear so I didn’t make as much $$$ as I could have. I was asked to constantly shrink and lose weight. It’s not like I’m a fat fuck. I have very low body fat and am just made this way. It’s bizarre how skinny some of the dudes were. I did some great jobs!! Andrew Smith, in my opinion, has a much better modeling career.