Catching Up with Chloe Malau’ulu

Chloe Malau’ulu is about to start her second season with the Oklahoma City Spark. She has worked several Rookie League Foundation Play Ball events since arriving in OKC (photo courtesy of the OKC Spark).
Chloe Malau’ulu is about to start her second season with the Oklahoma City Spark. She has worked several Rookie League Foundation Play Ball events since arriving in OKC (photo courtesy of the OKC Spark).

Chloe Malau’ulu has a lot of irons in the fire these days. In addition to her job duties as a coach and administrator for Oklahoma Fuel softball, she is preparing for her second season playing for the Oklahoma City Spark. When she’s not on softball field, Malau’ulu may be in the planning stages for participating in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles (more on that later). 

Prior to arriving in Oklahoma City, Malau’ulu achieved a stand-out collegiate career at Mississippi State. She was a five-time letterwinner and three-time team captain for the Bulldogs.  

A native of Long Beach, Calif., Malau’ulu’s mother Vivian is of Honduran ancestry and here father George is of Samoan descent. Athletic ability is abundant throughout the family. George Malau’ulu was a quarterback at the University of Arizona from 1989-92. Her sister, Thessa, is currently playing her senior season of softball at UCLA and her brother Jordan is about to start his freshman season as a football player at Fresno State. The youngest brother, Koa, is on the radar of college recruiters as a Class of 2028 quarterback prospect. There are numerous other collegiate athletics sprinkled throughout the family tree. 

 In recognition of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month we here at the Rookie League Foundation recently reached out to our friend and ally to catch up on the latest developments in her hectic life. 

 What have you been up to and what are your future career plans? 

I have been coaching travel ball and training/preparing for the upcoming Spark season. My future career plans are to continue playing softball and stick around sports! 

 What is the major difference between playing college and professional softball? 

The biggest difference would have to be the off season. The professional season is much shorter than the collegiate softball season, meaning that the off season is much longer. It’s up to you to stay on top of the work you put in and how you are taking care of your body. 

 How important were sports in general and softball in particular when you were growing up in Southern California? 

Softball is HUGE in California. It’s where nationals have been and where a lot of the top talent tends to come from. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the greatest softball players of my life and continue playing with them throughout college and even into the pros.   

 How do you feel about the status of Asian and Pacific Islander representation in college softball? 

The representation of Asian and Pacific Islander athletes in college softball have grown tremendously since I first started playing, and I couldn’t be happier for that! A lot of the top players today are of Polynesian descent, and I couldn’t be prouder of my culture for continuing to grow the game for the future of Polynesian athletes.   

 Are schools doing enough to find the talent in these groups? 

I think a lot of schools have been noticing the rise of talented Polynesian softball athletes and have been keeping an eye out for more Polynesian recruits. My coach at Mississippi State, Samantha Ricketts, and her sister Keilani Ricketts have done a tremendous job at bridging the gap between Samoan athletes and college softball, and other schools are taking notice and doing the same. 

Can you let us know about the trip you took to America Samoa this past summer with other elite softball players? 

 AIGA Foundation and other Samoan partners worked together in December 2023 to bring out some of the top collegiate and professional softball players across the country to put on free camps in Hawai’i and American Samoa to give back to our culture and encourage the next generation of Polynesian athletes to continue pursuing their dreams. We got together gear and equipment to give back as well and got to learn a little more about our heritage and traditions along the way. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and getting to see how much support we have on the islands just lit a fire in all of us to continue playing for those little girls back on the islands to have something to look forward to and work toward in the future. 

Funded by the AIGA Foundation and other like-minded partners, a group of college and professional softball stars of Polynesian descent made a pilgrimage to Hawai’i and American Samoa last December to conduct softball camps for local youth groups.

Do you want to say anything about the possibility of representing Samoa in softball at the Los Angeles Olympics? 

I am praying that everything works out for us to be able to create a Samoan national team to represent our culture and our island at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics! 

 What role has your family played in your achievements and plans? 

My family has been my greatest strength, support, inspiration & motivation since the very beginning. They are my reason for doing what I do and always show up for me in every way possible. I am grateful to have them in my corner and I know that they will forever have my back in whatever endeavors I continue to pursue. 

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