Scholar of the Week: CMIT South HS Student Kennedy Watkins
When CMIT South junior Kennedy Watkins was born, doctors predicted there would be major physical and cognitive limitations on his life.
A Brachial Plexus Palsy diagnosis meant his mobility would be restricted. It was also predicted he may never function mentally beyond six years old.
The doctors were wrong.
Since his diagnosis and nine surgeries later, Kennedy has accomplished things once thought impossible— like rising as a dynamic power forward on his school’s basketball team, despite not being able to use his right arm and maintaining a 3.1 GPA in his rigorous STEM-focused high school program.
Making these accomplishments even more sweet, Kennedy recently played an integral role in helping CMIT South make history twice in one week by earning the school’s first boys basketball playoff win then bringing home the Willard Division County championship, a first in school history.
The high school basketball program at CMIT South is just three years old.
“From birth, Kennedy has met milestones and exceeded everything they told us he couldn’t do,” said mom Angela Kennedy-Watkins, who notes that her son has been athletic and competitive from a young age despite having to overcome balance issues.
CMIT South Varsity Basketball Coach and Art Department Chair Reynaldo Quinn has known Kennedy since middle school as his art teacher before recently taking on the role as coach. Quinn says Kennedy’s effort is unmatched both in the classroom and on the court. He credits the student as one reason he decided to coach the team.
“Kennedy is a true warrior. He plays at a high level with one arm and is a superstar despite his condition,” Quinn said. “He never complains and has a work ethic and maturity level better than any junior in this school. People are in awe when they see him play, even at away games. He is inspiring.”
Kennedy plans to pursue a career in sports management at Temple University, University of Maryland, University of Cincinnati or Xavier University.