When we are thinking of iconic athletes that have been housed at The Q, there has been only one who has personified what it actually means to be a teammate.
Charles Sylvester – also known as Pookie – made his mark in sports at The Q in 2012 when the West Block Warlocks beat All Madden Flag Football team on MLK Jr. holiday game in January 2012. Pookie was open for a pass in the end zone, however, qb John Windham didn’t see him, leaving the pocket and running for a touch- down. It was Pookie who threw the block that got the qb over the line. In March of 2012, Pookie was passed over when he tried out for the 40 & Over SQ Kings. He then tried out for the SQ Warriors, and was passed over again.
Pookie has never quit trying nor has he ever waivered in his striving to be a part of the sports programs at The Q. He finally made both teams, and although he never started a game, he played his role as a supporter from the bench until it was his time to play.
Pookie is also known for his trademark Intramural Basketball League teams, called “Pookie & The Boys.”
He finally won a championship at The Q in the CBL with No Fair Ones in 2014.
Pookie personifies the hashtag #Sports@TheQ and it is my honor to introduce him to our readers.
AT: You’ve been playing sports all your life?
Pookie: Yeah, since ele- mentary school. Football and Basketball.
AT: You played High School ball?
Pookie: Yeah, for Fremont High in Los Angeles. Point guard for the varsity, But, no football.
AT: Did you play any col- lege ball?
Pookie: I went to West L.A. in Culver City and to
Los Angeles City College to play ball, but it was a big mess so I didn’t play.
AT: You first appeared in The Show at CTF-Soledad during the flag football season in 2011, then here at The Q for two years. Now, you’re being interviewed for the San Quentin Sports; what have you actually done in sports to get so much recognition and publicity?
Pookie: That’s the big question! (We both start laughing at this) My hustle? My defense? Everybody keep my name in their mouth so much (he laughs even harder), so I guess I’m a somebody! Whether I do good or bad, everybody
saying or chanting “Pookie! Pookie!”
AT: (Laughing) What self- help groups have you taken?
Pookie: (Catching his breath from the laughter) Alternatives to Violence Program, Restorative Justice, Criminals and Gangsters Anonymous, Project LA and GRIP (Guiding Rage Into Power).
AT: Did you get your GED since you’ve been inside?
Pookie: Yeah, in 2010. I graduated in full regalia.
AT: Okay, fun time. Name your top five favorite movies. Pookie: Beverly Hills Cop 1, Enemy of the State, Independence Day, Friday
the 13th and Phantasm.
AT: Name your top five all-time favorite R&B songs.
Pookie: “Fortunately” by Maxwell, “Lets Chill” by Guy, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, “The Whole Town is Laughing at Me” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and “Can You Stand The Rain” by New Edition.
AT: Name your top five all-time favorite basketball players.
Pookie: Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Scottie Pippen.
AT: You get to say one sentence to a group of 13 year olds. What do you say?
Pookie: “Respect your parents,” It’s as simple as that.
AT: Thanks for giving the people some of your time Pookie, its appreciated. It took some time to get around to this interview, so you have the closing word.
Pookie: My hats off to The Q for all the love and publicity to me, Pookie, and I’d like to thank all the brown card holders that come in and facilitate these sports programs. Also to the game officials and to the people that take part on the court and field, thanks. And, to the fans because, without them, the game wouldn’t be exciting. Appreciate yall.