How a “Last Look” Can Change a Kid’s Life
As Tarence “TK” Kinsey’s senior year was coming to an end, it seemed like his dream for college Division 1 basketball scholarships were too. Even though TK was a top high school basketball player in Florida, no D-1 colleges had made him a strong scholarship offer. As a player in an underserved community in Hillsborough County with limited exposure and few resources, he was left wondering if all of his work perfecting his game and planning for college basketball had been for nothing.
Then, TK’s grandfather stepped in.
When TK wasn’t invited to the Florida ‘North vs. South’ High School All-Star Game — despite being named Florida’s 4A Player of the Year and Hillsborough County’s Player of the Year– his grandfather, Randolph Kinsey, made a call. The tournament admitted their oversight and invited TK to the game at the last minute.
On the way to the game, Randolph — who had been an advocate for TK his whole career, recording tapes and sending handwritten notes to colleges to help him gain exposure — told TK this was his last chance. It was his “last look.” The All-Star Game was TK’s final opportunity to play in front of college coaches who could offer him a scholarship — and a chance to change his life.
TK put it all on the line that night. He outplayed everyone, was named MVP, and had colleges lined up around the locker room by the end of the night.
The game changed TK’s life. Without it, he wouldn’t have been offered a scholarship to the University of South Carolina where he earned a degree and led the Gamecocks to win two NIT Championships. He wouldn’t have played in the NBA or lived abroad and won ten championships with professional European teams.
TK’s grandfather helped him get a last look that changed his life, and now, TK wants to do the same for others.
Knowing that basketball players in Hillsborough County are often overlooked and underserved, TK is creating a program that helps local student-athletes get the resources and support they need to build a better future through sports and education. The program not only helps kids get attention from colleges, but it also helps them get the life skills they need to succeed once they go to college and life after sports.
TK was overlooked, but he had an advocate. His grandfather and family shined a light on his talent and helped him get the visibility, education, and life skills he needed to succeed. Now, TK is returning to his hometown to do the same for the talented, often overlooked kids in his community.
The Tarence Kinsey Foundation is currently in the midst of fundraising efforts to fund the “Last Look” initiative in Hillsborough County.