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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Kym Michelle Hampton, Basketball Player Extraordinaire, Model, Spokesperson and Actress

Kym Hampton has lived one dream through basketball and is now ready to pursue others in the world of entertainment.

Having completed a 15 year professional basketball career not only in the WNBA, but also in Spain, Italy, France and Japan, the transition should be a natural one. The world for Kym has always been a stage.

A graduate of Arizona State University, not only did she receive her bachelors degree in theater, but will go down in the university’s history book as one of the most decorated hoop players to wear a Sun Devil’s jersey.

During Kym’s WNBA career and since then, she has become a plus size model in fashion as well as cosmetics. She is an original Cover Girl Queen Collection model featured in a nation-wide commercial. She has found herself in GLAMOUR, ESSENCE and other magazines. Kym has worked with photographers like Francesco Scavullo and Daniel Green.

The multi-talented Hampton has also had the opportunity to grace the television and film world during guest appearances on the “Cosby Show”, “Rosie”, NBA TV and celebrity “Wheel of Fortune”. Her film experience includes “JuWanna Mann” and “She Hate Me” so far. She is also a spokesperson for the NBA, WNBA, New York Liberty and New York Knicks to name a few.

Singing has always been a love of Kym’s, and she was a regular at a nightclub (Insomnia) in Italy. Even before setting foot in Madison Square Garden as a player with the Liberty, Kym before a sell-out crowd-performed the national anthem during a Knicks play-off game. Since then, she has performed the anthem several times at the Garden as and continues to pursue her musical interests.

As a person who has always worked to reach goals and follow her dreams, she also encourages everyone to do the same, especially our youth. Two of her favorite sayings are; “Be the best YOU that you can be” and “As adults, we must lead with our actions, not our words." Whom You Know is so pleased to present her as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Kym Hampton for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: How old were you when you realized you were gifted in basketball?
Kym Hampton: 14. The same age I started.

What were the highlights of your basketball career?
Being one of the top players in the Nation as a senior in High School. Getting an athletic scholarship and graduating from college. Still owning several records at my alma-mater and being one of the top players in the nation when I graduated from Arizona State University. Playing 12 yrs of pro basketball in Europe (6 yrs Spain, 4.5 Italy, 1 yr France and 1 yr Japan). Winning 4 Championships: 3 in Spain, 1 in Japan. Being selected in the WNBA’S first round elite draft to the NY Liberty. Jumping against Lisa Leslie for the first jump ball in WNBA history. Scoring the first 2pts in Liberty history and winning the first ever WNBA game. Going to the first ever WNBA finals. Being selected as the first ever starting center in the eastern conference for the Inaugural WNBA All-Star game. Singing the National Anthem every last home game of the season since the inception of the WNBA (13yrs). Being Eastern Conference Champs 3 times. Getting an opportunity to act, sing, model, commentate, do voice-overs, meet multiple celebrities. Share my story with children/people. Be a role model to many.

How did you like playing overseas compared to playing in the USA?
It was great getting to travel, learn languages, cultures, meet new friends and get paid to do what I loved but there was something magical REAL, BIG TIME about playing in the WNBA. It was kinda like college ball vs. pro ball.

What parts of Europe do you like the best and why?
I’d say Spain and Italy because I spent more time there and picked up the languages well. I also have a Spanish and Italian family.

What do you hope to do in the world of entertainment?
Sing, act, model, host, commentate, write.

How did you like singing the National Anthem? Did you do a traditional arrangement?
Yes, but with flavor!!! Go Peachy!!! (Peachy sang the national anthem with her acapella group at an NHL game in the Hartford Civic Center many years ago.)

What has been your favorite tv appearance and what did you like about it?
The Cosby Show. Bill and his crew were so fun, funny and easy to work with.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
I think just wanting to make my family proud of me has been the biggest influence.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
A great restaurant, a good spa/masseuse, Madison Square Garden.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Don’t have one.

What is your favorite drink?
Depends on the time of day, the weather, but mostly my mood!

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Any restaurant that has great fish/seafood, a great steak, really good Italian food.

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
Don’t have one.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Liberty/Knicks, Women’s Sports Foundation Grand Gala, US Open.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Think or do anything I want to do like fashion, food, sports, concerts, theater, art, markets, diverse culture, it’s all here if I want/want not to do it.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Seeing numerous concerts and meeting the artist!

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
The NY Liberty. Night Life (clubs/bars)

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
Sporty Peachy of course! I love sports.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I’m passionate about girls participating in sports. I know not everyone wants to be a lifelong athlete but sports/athletics does incredible things for a girl like improving self-esteem, body image, strength (physical, mental, emotional), grades, ability to adjust and handle pressure. One can go to school for free and even have lifelong benefits.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

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