Hunter and Cade McMillin: Brothers in Arms

Cade and Hunter McMillin

Tom McMillin has had the best seat in the house. And who is to blame him? As the official scorekeeper for the Malibu boys basketball team and the public address announcer for Malibu baseball, he has been fortunate enough to witness two league championships. But that doesn’t even compare to his true joy as a proud Malibu parent.

While the Sharks have racked up wins and league titles in both sports, none of it equates to seeing sons Hunter and Cade play as teammates for the past two years. In this day and age, where stats and individual recognition have unfortunately begun to overshadow team success and accomplishment, the McMillin brothers are a breath of fresh air off the Malibu coast.

“They are truly what you want in brothers,” Tom said.

Hunter, a senior, and Cade, a sophomore, are two humble, selfless and dedicated young men who represent what every coach desires in a player. Whether it’s at practice or on game day, the McMillins put forth their best effort with a healthy and positive attitude being exhibited every step of the way.

“I’ve tried to show him (Cade) and teach him that respecting your coaches, the referees and your opponent will take you a long way in sports,” Hunter, 18, said. “Having a good attitude, working hard and being passionate about it prove you could be good at any sport.”

“It’s been great playing with him because he pushes me a lot to be better than him even though I know he will always be better than me,” Cade, 16, said. “We have debates, we feud sometimes, but we get along. It’s been great and I wouldn’t rather do it with anyone else.”

This week in particular will be emotional for Tom, his wife Michelle and Cade as Hunter could possibly be playing in his last high school game. The Sharks’ baseball team is on the bubble for a playoff berth and the final regular season contest is slated for Thursday against Carpinteria at MHS at 3:30 p.m.

It is not every day that two brothers get the chance to play together on the same team in two different sports for two years. Hunter and Cade have made the most of the unique opportunity by being there for each other as they have formed a bond that is as much about respect as it is brotherly love.

“It’s just been a great experience and opportunity to be able to play with my brother. I’ve always been very close to him and we have done virtually everything together,” Hunter explained. “I’ve always tried to be a role model for him on and off the field. These last two couple of years of playing high school sports with him has taught him a lot as well as myself. It’s something I will definitely miss.”

When his little brother struggled at the start of the basketball season, Hunter was by his side, providing encouraging words and moral support. Cade blossomed during the second half of the season and played an integral part in the Sharks’ resurgence as league champions.

Look no further than to your big brother for advice and guidance. “Hunter pushed me the whole year,” said Cade. “I didn’t play too well at the start of the year but Hunter was always there for me to back me up. He helped me have a great season.”

Hunter and Cade are best of friends on and off the court and for them they shared their greatest sports moment immediately following the Sharks’ league -clinching win against Grace Brethren.

“Winning that last game and securing the league championship was awesome,” Hunter said. “Coach (Richard) Harris brought us up to the locker room and when we got there all the coaches and parents jumped out and started pouring sparkling apple cider on us to imitate a professional team winning a championship. That was an experience I will never forget.”

“We had no idea of what was going on,” Cade said. “We would have never guessed they would do that for us. We were so happy we won the league championship. It was great and possibly the best sports moment in my life.”

Cade will have big shoes to fill as a junior and senior but the brothers wouldn’t have it any other way. Next month, Hunter will graduate from Malibu and attend San Diego State in the fall. These final few weeks in high school will mean as much to them as it did on the court or out on the baseball field.

Once summer arrives, the brothers will enjoy surfing together and find time to compete in serious clashes of ping-pong. “Everyone has friends and you see them at school and hang out with them,” Hunter said. “But there is nothing like having a brother that you are close to. I can talk to him about anything. There is really no comparison to it. I will know my brother for my whole life and I will cherish these moments forever.”