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Transformation of Hoover High football's Alvin Kim

Made fun of when he was a freshman, Hoover senior has worked hard to improve as a player and will be a two-way starter for the Tornadoes.

August 28, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • Hoover High football senior Alvin Kim is looking to lead the Tornadoes at a new position, wide receiver, in 2013.
Hoover High football senior Alvin Kim is looking to lead… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

Football wasn’t Alvin Kim’s first choice at Hoover High; it wasn’t even his second.

“I wanted to play golf when I came in as a freshman,” said Kim, a senior. “But that didn’t work out. And then I wanted to try out for the basketball team, but I missed the tryouts.”

Never having played organized football, Kim was convinced by his friend, Se Jun Kim, to try out for the Tornadoes football team. The only problem was the football season was more than half over and Alvin Kim had no idea what position he could play, or if he was any good at the sport.

“It was the seventh week of the season and I asked the coach if I could try out for the team,” Alvin Kim said. “He wouldn’t let me, but I begged him to please let me come out for the team. He finally gave in and said if I could run something like 14 laps around the track my freshman year that I could make the team. I was able to do that and I made the team.

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“But I was one of the worst players on the team and there were some players who were making fun of me.”

Fast forward three years.

When Kim takes the field for Hoover this season as a two-way starter, no one will be able to laugh at the senior’s athletic ability. With a dedicated work ethic, a hunger for improvement and a desire to learn what it takes to be a successful football player, Kim had transformed himself into a consummate athlete for the Tornadoes.

It is that hard work that has paid dividends for the athlete. Along with playing outside linebacker and wide receiver for Hoover, Kim is also the team’s long snapper and mans a position on the kickoff team.

Kim said to shed the image of the player whom teammates mocked as a freshman, he had to put in the hours of training he needed to improve.

“I actually had to stop lifting during the summer because I was injuring my rotator cuff,” Kim said. “I remember some semesters when I didn’t have a first-period class, I would walk to school and by 7 in the morning I would just come to the field to work. Then in the second semester, I would come to school and work out from 4-6 all by myself.

“It was important for me to stay in shape and get as fast and as strong as I could. It was something that I knew I had to do to get better.”

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