Freshman athlete sets goals on field and in life
Greetings Biolans! Do you realize that there are only two and a half weeks left until Thanksgiving Break? This is my third semester here at Biola, and every semester has flown by faster than the one before. I’m not a hundred percent sure why that is. Maybe it’s like they say, “time flies when you are having fun.” Or maybe it just seems like it has been fast now that it’s coming to an end. Perhaps we are all just so crazy busy that every day only seems like a few seconds. I think most of us can identify with the busy life, but none more so than the man under this week’s spotlight.
This week I had the privilege of interviewing Kenny Anderson, a freshman forward for Biola’s men’s soccer team. We met at Commons a half hour before XOPOC practice (yes...even bloggers at Biola sometimes like to dance. Choreographed of course). And so, pulling out my pen and paper, I begin the interview.
A busy life
Prior to coming to Biola, Kenny lived in Corona, Calif., with his four brothers and four sisters – a foretaste of the busy life he would lead. Throughout high school, Kenny was a star track and field athlete, and part of three separate soccer teams. The teams included high school, club, and an Olympic development program which traveled across the nation. Why soccer and track and field? Well, first of all, those sports (especially soccer) were his passions. Kenny also said he loves to travel. Turns out Kenny also tried his hand at baseball, but said it involved standing still way too much and that he constantly needs to be moving – just like his busy life.
Kenny’s journey to Biola
If you have read any of my earlier posts, you may have noticed the unmistakable pattern with the follow-up question, “Why Biola?” At first it seemed as though Kenny had a similar story. A huge part of his coming was, of course, because he wanted to play college soccer. “[Biola has] a very competitive team,” he noted. His second reason was based on faith. To “continue my journey with Christ,” he said. But it turns out there was more to this decision than just those reasons.
The wrong number, but the right path
I love to ask my interviewees to name an instance where they saw God’s handiwork in their life. To answer this question, Kenny referenced his decision to come to Biola. You see, Kenny had scholarships to other schools for both track and field and soccer. You may have heard of a few of these schools: UCLA, USC, Boise State and Ohio State. Kenny said he was especially interested in attending Ohio State. But as high school drew to a close, he was disappointed to find none of the schools contacting him, een after his coach had given them all his phone number.
The only school to contact Kenny was Biola. So Kenny agreed to play for the Biola Eagles. Not long after, the former schools began to call Kenny, each apologizing for having called the wrong phone number. Biola was the only school who had called the right number. One could venture to say that God did indeed want Kenny at Biola!
Proving himself as a freshman on the team
Now that Kenny is at Biola, life hasn’t slowed down at all. But he’s used to that. The only thing that is unfamiliar is being a college freshman. According to Kenny, nobody ever guesses he’s a freshman, so he doesn’t have to deal with the usual freshman treatment around campus. But on the soccer team, class ranking on the roster matters. Kenny admitted it’s been a long time since he was the one picking up the soccer balls, getting the water bottles, and doing the other freshman duties at practice, but said he doesn’t mind.
“You have to prove yourself,” he said. Whether that means giving it your all in practice, in games, or just in making sure everyone has something to drink. Kenny has been doing just that, and though he suffered an injury prior to the season, has come back from it and still seen decent playing time.
Athlete, dancer, and…triple major?
As if soccer weren’t enough to keep Kenny busy, he is also involved in other aspects of college life. When I asked his major, he told me, “political science, sociology, and business management.” I immediately figured he was just the typical freshman who was still deciding. I was wrong. He is taking ALL of those majors. And to put the cherry on the sundae, he is part of your favorite Biola dance team, XOPOC. Kenny has put a new meaning to the word “busy.”
A future in sports and law
Kenny has big dreams for the future. He hopes to be a lawyer, and (not or) be a marketer for athletic apparel. When I asked if he would play professional soccer over those two jobs, he looked at me as if I couldn’t have asked a more obvious question. “Oh definitely,” he said. Wherever Kenny finds himself in years to come, whether lawyer and marketer, or MLS, you can bet he won’t be “standing still.”