When Bruno Mars performs live at the Super Bowl halftime before 100-plus million television viewers on Sunday, Kameron T. Whalum, a super-talented trombone player with deep Memphis roots, will be in his familiar spot amid Mar's onstage backers, aka the Hooligans.
I'll be in front of a television – super-proud of the man who grew out of the youngster that I once made the starting point guard and captain of the basketball team that I coached and mentored at New Olivet Baptist Church, where Kameron's dad, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., is pastor. Kameron made all the difference in the season we had that summer, as we blew some teams out by halftime. When the games were tight, rather than going off – as I sometimes have – I'd leave the locker room (after knocking over some paper cups) and allowed Kameron to motivate them.
I detected leadership in Kameron; he carried an aura of winning, an essential trait shared by many successful people. He absolutely had it as a child, not at all surprising considering the ample supply of role models in the Whalum family tree. With the big game looming, Kameron and I shared this conversation.
- Written by Kelvin Cowans/Special to The New Tri-State Defender