Kim English Uses His Summer for Change
COLUMBIA - It's Kim English's senior season and he plans on going out giving it his best. You know the difference he makes on the basketball court but you might not know the difference he makes off of it.
Kim English is enjoying the most successful season in his college career, coming off his most frustrating.
"Last year was rough," said English. "I didn't really understand why..I didn't really know why."
English says a home loss to Kansas when he only scored three points was his low point during his junior season and then it hit rock bottom during the summer.
"Getting cut from USA Basketball was the lowest and that's when I started the climb back up," English said.
The climb included reading the poem "If", something English says he does every morning.
"It means everything," said English, "if you can do what that poem says then you can be anything you want to be. I kind of don't want to memorize it. I want to read the words."
Missouri junior guard Michael Dixon said, "I can say that he's more confident, more assertive, and extremely focused."
Transformations are part of English's life. This summer he made a trip to his hometown of Baltimore where he saw a park in need of its own transformation.
"Not only was it a park, it was in the alley behind my grandmother's house where I grew up. A park I played on," said Engligh. "The park I played basketball on kids couldn't get to the playground because the grass was my height."
So English took to social media using his twitter account with more than 10,000 followers to alert the Baltimore mayor.
English said, "I started tweeting the mayor. I started tweeting her like crazy. Tweeting her and tweeting her. She tweeted me back finally and told me to stop. She emailed me and called me, but still nothing was done so I kept tweeting her."
The persistence paid off and English received the news on the way out of town.
"At the gate about to go back home my grandmother texted me a picture of the cleaning crew out there mowing the lawn. English said, "It was nice after that."
"Outgoing would be an understatement for Kim English. So, none of that really surprises me and I feel like he's got a lot of pull on twitter," Dixon said.
English didn't campaign for the clean-up for publicity just for the kids.
"It was small in the grand scheme of things because there are hundreds of playgrounds like that in Baltimore but it made a difference to I know 50 kids. It means a lot," said English.
His summer of change included a new head coach, a new look park and new found faith in his abilities.
English said, "A weight lifted off my shoulders. I'm just having fun again."
English says among his personal goals this season he plans to be the first to practice, make 250 shots after every practice, and to always be a positive leader.