Believe with Atlanta Hawk, Clint Capela
Our very own, Atlanta Hawks went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. While the 2020-21 season ends there, this A-team of athletes has Atlanta believing the best is yet to come. Atlanta’s strong playoff games have made Bogdan, Capela, Collins, Reddish and Young household names across Georgia. Which is why I was so pumped to talk with Atlanta Hawk center, Clint Capela.
What is a typical day in the life of Clint Capela?
I like to get up, go get tested and practice starts in the morning. Shoot around, watch films, get some body treatments before noon. Afternoon I go back home, take a nap and get ready for the game. I get back to the arena around 5 pm. I get warmed up in the arena about an hour and half before the game. Then I go back to the lockers, where I get some more body treatments. And then it’s game time!
At what point did you know you wanted to play ball professionally?
After high school. I graduated high school in France. I signed a pro contract right after high school. I went to a first division team in France, so I was 18 years old. Pretty late, I would say 13. That’s when I started basketball and saw I may have a chance to make it to the pros.
Who inspired you to pursue your dreams?
Always my mom. Because of the way she raised me and my brothers. She’s always been the adult I’ve looked up to since I was a kid.
Who was your athletic role model or encouraged you?
My brother. We were always playing on the weekends. His games were on the weekends and I was always going with him to watch his games. Since I started, he’s always been the one behind me playing basketball.
How would you compare this Hawks team to your team in Houston?
In Houston, it was always championship year—all-go every year. The fans expected it. The team expected it. That is the difference. I feel like here we still have room to grow.
How did you feel whenever you achieved your first career triple-double?
I was really excited. I knew that it was pretty rare and I knew that I had a chance to do it. Yea, I was just excited and all of my teammates were excited for me. And from the bench, whenever I had my 10th block—it was a really special night. I kept the ball at my house. It’s something dear I will always keep with me and hopefully I will be able to recreate it. Even if it’s not easy to do.
Best part of the 2020-21 season?
I think that we’re getting wins in a row. And just that people weren’t expecting us to go that far or to be that good. That’s really the exciting part about this season.
Where do you call home?
I call home Switzerland. That’s where I grew up. That’s where my family is—my brothers, my nephews, my mom, all the people I grew up with my first 15 years. Geneva, Switzerland is home. I was born in Europe but my parents are African, from Congo, Africa.
What is your favorite thing about Georgia?
I really like the Piedmont Park. I go there a lot and ride scooters. And I really like to go walk there, I do that a lot. I like this place called Park Tavern. It’s pretty cool and I like the people there.
Do you miss Switzerland? Or visit often?
Every summer I go back. I miss my mom and my family back home. Having my mom with me, the dishes and food that she makes, my nephews and the fun I have with them.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal?
My mama, she makes this African meal—it’s rice with beans. She makes this sauce with the beans that’s just a little bit spicy. It’s called madesu in Congo. She has her way of doing it and I miss that meal a lot.
What do you like to order when out?
I like to try new stuff and new restaurants. I like to try new sushi a lot and French restaurants. Whenever I go to a new restaurant, I like to order the best food they have so I always ask for the chef’s recommendation. I feel like this is how you get the best at every restaurant.
What advice would you give young athletes?
Just like I was [given]. Believe in yourself, work hard and get ready for the next opportunity.