Warrior Sagas: Get to know Calvin Whiting
Here at the Utah Warriors, we recognize the value in our players and staff and their personal stories. Each is unique and brings their specific talents and experiences to the organization, enhancing the value of the team. Without them, there is no Utah Warriors!
In light of this, we wanted to allow you, Warriors Nation, the opportunity to get to know the players, coaches and staff, whom you love and support, a little better. Enter the “Warrior Sagas,” a multi-series in which we will highlight an individual player or staff member, a Warrior, on multiple platforms to share their stories with you.
Calvin Whiting’s story is that of a natural-born rugger. As a former USA U20 captain and BYU All-American, it was only a matter of time until he entered the professional league.
Whiting initially grew up playing soccer back home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Once he neared high school, he tried out water polo but eventually landed on rugby.
“It’s kind of a given,” Whiting said. “You live in South Africa, you kind of have to try rugby.”
Once his water polo season was over, Whiting and his buddies attended rugby tryouts and made the A Team. He played his first season in the eighth grade and was hooked.
“I just fell in love with it ever since,” Whiting said. “It’s just kind of been there. I’ve been playing it for 12 years now.”
In 2011, Whiting moved to Utah with his mother. He started his 10th-grade year at Lone Peak High School in Alpine, Utah and found a safe-haven in joining the United Rugby Club.
“It was kind of weird at first, obviously not having a lot of friends, different country, different culture, but the more time I gave it, the better it got,” Whiting said about his move to the United States. “I actually joined up with United Rugby Club … That kind of became my family. That kind of home away from home was obviously at the rugby pitch.”
Whiting played with United before moving onto the High School All-Americans for three years, where he was able to travel to South America and England. From there, he joined BYU Men’s Rugby, where he was able to win a national championship in 2015.
Whiting also played with the Men’s Collegiate All-Americans, where he traveled to Australia, and the USA Eagles, where he traveled again to South America, before joining the Utah Warriors.
“[I] learned a lot, grew a lot as a player and realized how much it actually takes to become successful at that level, and so I knew I had a long way to go,” Whiting said. “After that experience, I kind of put my head down and just went to work. I finished up my time at BYU and then joined up with the Utah Warriors now.”
OUTSIDE OF RUGBY
Outside of playing rugby, Whiting enjoys staying active and the outdoors. He recently took up fly fishing and has been a life-long golfer.
“I’ve been playing golf my entire life,” Whiting said. “It’s kind of my secret passion. I wish I could be a professional golfer at times.”
Whiting also enjoys grilling various meats on his Traeger on the weekends and loves motorcycles.
“I might not own one, but I love all things motorcycles,” Whiting said. “Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to buy my Harley Davidson and, you know, just cruise around, go through the U.S. That’s always been a dream too.”
When it comes to his style of play, Whiting considers himself a consistent player; he’s not there for the gimmicks but to execute his role and be a reliable player for his team.
“I’m not that type of player that’s extremely showy or has like the cool moves, anything like that,” Whiting said. “Whenever there’s a game or when there’s practice, I try to be as consistent as possible to make sure that our plan is actually executed and that I’m doing my job for the team, in order to make us successful.”
For the 2021 season, Whiting is looking to bring high intensity, which was a focus during the 2020 season. Whiting explained that the Utah Warriors coaches emphasized the importance of being the first to the ball, getting your job done and doing it all as quickly as possible and as effectively.
Whiting is putting in the work now to nurture these skills in preparation for 2021.
“I’ve been working a lot on trying to make sure I can work on those habits and kind of making sure I’m going to be up to speed when the season comes, so that we can actually start to execute that again and become better than we were last season as well,” Whiting said.
To hear more of Whiting’s story, watch the full video here.
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