PEN Senior Set To Begin College and D3 Football
• My name is Justin Kim and I’m a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. I have committed to play Division 3 football at Pomona College next year and I’m excited to pursue a major in economics.
My whole life I have played basketball, starting from club basketball in the South Bay F.O.R. League with the Sidewinders and AAU with Los Angeles Elite. I played JV basketball my freshman year and varsity basketball my sophomore, junior and senior year.
In my senior year I joined the football team. Through the tough practices in the spring and the summer, our team worked hard everyday, and finished the season with an impressive record.
We made it to the CIF Division 11 championship game, surprising the Hill community with an outstanding season. It was one of the most memorable teams I have ever been on, meeting some of the best teammates and friends I could ask for. I only wish that I had joined sooner.
Initially, I dreamed of attending college far from home, on the East Coast. I applied for early action to a few schools and was deferred to regular decision before I got the call from a coach at Pomona College.
At the time, I was in Florida with the basketball team for a tournament. I was taken back by the call, and everything started to happen in a rush. I was excited to receive such an opportunity at Pomona.
My childhood dream has always been to play sports at the next level, and I was eager to have the chance to study econamics at Pomona. I chose to play college football for a number of reasons.
The education offered was one of the first and foremost factors in my decision. Although I had not heard or known much about Pomona before, once I researched the school and looked into their curriculum, I was certain that this would be the best possible education I could ask for.
What also convinced me was the experiences I had with my high school football team this past year. There is nothing like the feeling of having 40 to 50 teammates who always have your back. Spending countless hours with them in the weight room and on the field brought us together like a family, something that no other sport or activity can do.
I learned the importance of teamwork and dedication, how to work with purpose and with others to benefit the team. These life lessons that I took away from the team experience I wanted to continue at Pomona and make more lifelong friends.
What truly helped me receive such a great opportunity was the help and support I got from my parents, teachers, coaches, teammates and friends that I have met throughout my life.
If my parents hadn’t supported me playing sports from when I was a kid, I could never imagine being able to meet the amazing people that I have today.
If it wasn’t for coach Russell Payne who coached me all my life in basketball and taught me so many life lessons, I would not be the person and student-athlete I am today.
My teachers all pushed me hard at Peninsula, but being able to survive through the workload and stress taught me how to become a diligent and responsible student.
Without my teammates and friends, I would lack the confidence and experience they each provided me with to succeed.
All these people in my life are what truly convinced me to attend Pomona College and play football there. I wish to respect all the support they have given me in the next step I take in my life.