Students get a chance to “kick it” with Sporting KC player

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Jon Kempin poses for a photo with a soccer player from the college. The men's team is favored to win the KJCCC league's East conference this season. Photo by Andrew Hartnett, The Campus Ledger.

Kim Harms

Staff reporter

kharms3@jccc.edu

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jon Kempin visited campus to sign autographs and take pictures with students on Wednesday afternoon. Kempin is an Overland Park native and a graduate of Blue Valley North High School. His first appearance on the Sporting KC team was in 2010 and he is currently on loan to the Swope Park Rangers.

Kempin mentioned the impact Sporting KC fans had on him during ECAV Radio’s live broadcast.

“[The fans will] always come up and say hi to you and it’s great to be able to interact with them. You know that they always have your back and … you just feel the love I guess,” said Kempin.

During Kempin’s visit, the college set up bubble soccer — a version of the game featuring large inflatable suits for the players — for students. Several students decided to join the game, while others decided to sit back and watch the antics that unfolded. Bubble soccer was a new experience for some and a returning favorite for others.

Students Chance Johnson and Marcos Hartshorn explained their thoughts on the event and the topic of soccer as they watched the bubble soccer players. Johnson had played bubble soccer before while Hartshorn had not.

“I just walked out of my class and I told [Johnson] to come over,” said Hartshorn.

“I got a text from [Hartshorn] and he said, ‘Hey come over they’re playing bubble soccer,’ and I said ‘Oh, cool.’… I always thought it was fun playing it when I played it with my friends back in high school. It’s fun to watch other people run into each other,” said Johnson.

Students Collins Gatimi and Brian Lenjo talked about how they felt about the event as they tried to catch their breath after playing bubble soccer.

“I saw flyers and [Gatimi] called me up and was like hey there’s bubble soccer going on over here,” said Lenjo.

Although the turnout wasn’t large, Kempin and the students who attended the event were able to turn a gloomy, Wednesday afternoon into a time to socialize, create new experiences and relieve some of the stress that came with the beginning of Fall semester.

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