Kenya Earl: Making Her Own Name

The City High Junior has some big shoes to fill, but is making her own name as one of City’s top scorers.


Joseph Cress

Kenya Earl ’17 drives to the basket against Dubuque Wahlert December 8th.

Jonathan House and Jim Geerdes

Kenya Earl is following in her father’s footsteps by playing basketball, and looks to continue playing basketball at the collegiate level.

Earl has been playing basketball since she was five. Her family’s basketball roots extend far beyond her relatively short career – her father, Acie Earl, played basketball for the University of Iowa from 1989-1993 and holds the Big Ten record for most career blocks. He was a first round pick by the Boston Celtics in 1993.

Acie has recently turned to coaching a travel team, and gives his daughter tips to improve her game.

“He teaches me a lot of things; he gives me tips and pointers when I get home from games,” said Earl. “He teaches me everything he knows, so that’s the plus side to having a dad who’s played.”

Earl has a demanding basketball schedule, playing year round. She plays on her father’s travel team in addition to her regular season while attending camps during the summer, and playing tournaments during July.

“I think playing AAU (Earl’s father’s travel team) ball is different than high school,” Earl said. “The contact and the playing are tougher for the most part, but that helps me play tougher in the season.”            She has recently received attention from multiple colleges.

Despite only being a junior, she already has an offer from Western Illinois University. She has also received attention, but not yet a scholarship, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Earl’s young junior season is highlighted by her being City High’s third leading scorer through three games, behind only Courtney Joens ‘16 and Ashley Joens ‘18. She has averaged 16.0 points through her first five games, while averaging 82.9% from the foul line and shooting 40.8% from the field, as well as being the team leader in blocks with five. For Earl, team chemistry is a big part of her and the team’s success.

“We get along great. We have group chats and we text all the time. We meet during open periods and passing time. We hang out a lot and go out to eat, so our team chemistry is pretty close.”

Earl says that making it to state freshman year was her favorite memory of playing for City High thus far. She believes that this year’s team can win the MVC and make it back to state with the right amount of focus.

“As we always say, do the little things right and make sure we are focused and playing as a team,”  Earl said.