Braydon Chang believes in taking some risks in life and on the soccer pitch. You never know if something will work if you don’t give it a shot.
“Don’t be nervous, be relaxed and composed,” the Lake Washington High senior soccer player added following practice on a recent Thursday.
It’s the midfielder’s fourth year as a Kang varsity player, and last year’s second-team all-3A KingCo selection likes where things are headed for the squad. There’s lots of talent with returners Bo Broyles, a senior goalkeeper and second-team all-KingCo guy; Jackson Fox, a senior defender/midfielder and KingCo honorable mention; Matteo Debuire, a junior defender and KingCo honorable mention; and Jason Pham, a junior forward.
Chang led the Kangs with eight goals last season and was voted best offensive player for the LW squad. He has committed to play next year at Whitworth University in Spokane, and Fox — a three-year Kang varsity player — is set for more soccer at the University of Redlands in California.
“I think that what I really like about this year’s group is that we’re all so connected and bonded. We’ve known each other for a quite a while and that kind of makes us close like a family,” said Chang, adding that there’s some new underclassmen who will give the team a boost.
While living in Hawaii, Chang first connected with the sport of soccer at the age of 6 and played with the Blitz club squad. The Chang family moved out this way about two or three years later for new opportunities and experiences, and Braydon has played for several club teams. He just finished his season with Crossfire Premier out of Redmond.
LW head coach Rod Smith helped Chang calm his nerves when he began playing with the Kangs as a freshman.
“Coach Rod came up to me and told me to just relax, you’re part of this family. Through my four years of high school, he’s always been supportive of me and every other player in this program,” Chang said.
The Reporter asked Chang a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
In Bellevue, it would have to be Coco’s. It’s a little Korean restaurant. I have a few friends working there, they introduced me to the restaurant where they love the food.
What’s something unique about yourself?
My middle name: Ulukmamalohmaikalani (translation: the love from the two brings them closer together), that’s my Hawaiian name that was given to me by my great-great grandmother. My Chinese name is Bing-Yah, it was given to me by my great-grandfather.
Who’s your idol growing up?
My dad. He’s probably the most hard-working man I’ve ever known. If you want something done, he’ll get it done. I’ve always tried to follow in his footsteps, try to be him in a way. When he grew up, he always had to work for everything he had. I always admired that, so I try to work to get what I want.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
From my dad it would have to be, a man takes care of others before himself. For example, every time my dad cooks dinner, he’d always wait for my mom, my sister and me to eat first and then he can eat.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
I got into it this year, it would have to be Japanese ‘80s funk. Just something about it that’s just really relaxing, just puts me in a good vibe.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
It would have to be “Avengers: Infinity War.” It just blew my mind like how they could have every Marvel character in just one movie and then just have an amazing villain like Thanos just come in. The whole movie was just like a thrill ride.