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"Living in the Moment" with Kym Hampton

The one thing that we all have in common is the hunger to learn new things and heighten our perspective all around us. We acquaint ourselves, share our passions and desires beyond our personal realms; although this world continues to interchange we sometimes drift. What if we didn’t have that pro and dealt with the cards that are dealt? What if we didn’t feel present and optimistic, will the world be the same as we know it? There are too many scenarios to count! But there is always one story that captures the answer that offers an interesting stance, at least once in our lifetime. Part of staying relevant is knowing when to speak and how to reap. We all sow contrarily, but it’s how we execute it that makes each and every one of us diverse. Ms. Kym Hampton a woman of great stride resembled the slate of someone who has actually been here before in my opinion. She has a soothing presence; her spirit is still and while interviewing her I realized that she was a woman that we all could connect with. She hardly spoke about herself but of the many obstacles that got her to this very place explains why so many people adore her so much!

During her years as a WNBA player she learned that scars are not always visible but hidden. Hampton, who is indigenous, without hesitancy credits her career to her grandmother. When she was just a teen, entering the basketball league her grandmother told her that no matter what she did, she had to do it to the best of her ability. “Why do it if you’re not going to give your best?” Hampton reminisces. Born in Louisville, Kentucky Hampton talks about the everyday struggles that she had with downplaying her gifts and not being able to accept compliments. She says that she regrets not giving her self-credit back then and simply living in the moment! As disciplined as she is, she looks back on how much she dimmed her light not allowing herself to shine brighter.

Hampton strived for greatness but learned that the road was not going to be as familiar to her as she anticipated. She lived in Louisville, Kentucky at a time when it was very different; there were no paved roads and no constructed plans, and because the majority of the times we are worried about something that has not even materialized yet she knew that with her strong faith and love for sports she was headed in the right direction. Hampton knew that she had the power to change things, failure and disappointment didn’t exist. Blessed to have family and friends that provided stability in her corner her world was only shaped by her ability to move with determination and not fear. She reflects on having a love for progression and wanting to win. She was always reminded that her drive, and love for helping others and witnessing their growth made her feel really good and fulfilled.

"I realized that the majority of the time we are down, we are worried about what hasn’t happened yet, and we are worried about what people might think…" Kym Hampton

In our interview Hampton recognized that she sought to please everybody but learned that if you are not happy within yourself it is not worth it. On the court she didn’t want to hog the ball so she would pass it to her teammates, later catching heat from her coach! Hampton even says that if someone complimented her, she would say something in response that would downplay the acclamation. She downplayed her talents and beauty and I personally feel that that it is hard to do when you graduated from high school scoring 1,198 career points, averaging 23.5 points per game and 728 rebounds, averaging 14 per game. To be honest with you, the more she downplayed her talents is more of a rising star she became. Hampton soared even higher in the years that followed.

In 1997 Hampton was selected as the number four pick in the WNBA Elite Draft, by the New York Liberty, in its inaugural season. During her three-year WNBA career, she started every game including the inaugural WNBA All-Star Game where she was voted starting center. At the height of her career Hampton admits that she had so many other things that she wanted to do in her life. She didn’t envision herself working in an office setting. Her eyes and heart were set on making a larger bearing in someone’s life that she hadn’t even met yet!

Her motto "…make sure you do it right the first time, so you don’t have to go back and do it again!" allowed her to move at an intentional pace while growth presumed her purpose in life; without consuming the many distractions that surrounded Hampton she would always come out winning. Who would have imagined what was in store. Hampton says that even though her family did not have very much, she remembers being surrounded with so much joy, it was a beautiful place to be and for what little they had they were all so grateful.

It takes a great deal of pride in a persons need to succeed and rightfully so, as she really was blessed with hope from the very beginning. She continues to instill that same fearless vibe that she carried with her for so long in her daughter. She is confident that her daughter will continue to go on to higher education and become what she envisions for herself to be as long as she stays fixated and diligent on her goals.

I asked Ms. Hampton, if she had the opportunity to voice her opinion on what the world needs right now. She clearly confronted what seems to be the elephant in room all across the world with full conviction. Education and stability is needed and our next generation will need to take things in as the world turns. “…we have to go to school and ball out in our grades, we have to learn how to talk and communicate in the world…” She emphasizes on how important it is to seek and find your passion. Hampton is a natural healer, perhaps because of her huge heart and still voice. She cares about everyone.

Her hope is to continue to give and work for the youth, and perhaps help them recognize their worth. We are so lucky to have an amazing and talented woman that believes in the power of self-love, possibility and change.

Written By Nicole Norton-Evans for


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