The irony that Kim English’s last name was English and he suffered from a horrendous speech impediment as a child growing up in Baltimore sounds more like the beginning of an SNL sketch that a basketball success story.
Yet, Kim English is the real deal. He once repeated announcers like Dick Vitale thousands of times a night trying to get rid of his stuttering problem. And it worked. English is now more likely to perfectly quote you John Wooden and Rudyard Kipling perhaps more than any other D1 baller in the nation. His speech is impeccable and as far as on the court goes, he’s the linchpin to the #10 Mizzou Tigers averaging over 16 ppg.
Recalling how he got his far English states, “ I didn't stutter on the basketball court. I just destroyed people, and all of a sudden all the jokes went away, and as my confidence got better, my speech impediment, it just went away.”
No one is laughing any more and as the leader of Missouri’s Big Dance dreams, English makes a pretty amazing leader of a team already out-pacing expectations. The Tiger’s started the season #25 and have jumped 15 spots with their 7-0 start. It seems a type of poetic justice that this story already has a happy ending.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS