Offensive guard gives back to the community with hands-only CPR training
Junior Offensive Guard Kenneth Horsey has been nominated for the 2021 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, was announced today. He is one of 109 student athletes from divisions across the country nominated for their stories of exemplary community service, in addition to their academic dedication and impact on and off the field.
Founded in 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is one of the most coveted community service awards in college football. Of the 109 nominees, the final roster of 23 award winners will bring together 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision; 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); and an honorary head coach. To qualify for a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, each player must be actively involved in a charitable organization or service group while maintaining strong academic standing.
Hailing from Sanford, Florida, Horsey has a remarkable comeback story that inspired his work as a community heart health service.
In the spring of 2018, before arriving in Kentucky for his freshman season, he complained of pain in his side. His parents rushed him to the emergency room where doctors eventually found a tumor on one of his heart valves. He underwent open heart surgery on April 8, 2018 and was even told by a few doctors that his football career was over. Horsey was not deterred, however. He came to Kentucky wearing red for the 2018 season with the goal of earning a starting spot on Kentucky’s offensive line, affectionately known as the “Big Blue Wall.” In 2019, he saw action in four games and continued to train and prepare his body for the rigors of the Southeastern Conference. Since his surgery in 2018, he has lost 50 pounds and, thanks to his hard work and dedication, has earned the starting left guard position on the “Big Blue Wall”. Even a broken left hand, which had to be operated on during the preparation camp, did not stand in the way. He started in eight games played in 2020, helping the Wildcats to fifth in the Southeastern Conference in hasty offense (187.4).
Because of his heart condition and how supported he felt during his surgery and recovery, he began volunteering with the Lexington chapter of the American Heart Association in 2020. Here are a few of his community service events:
- Spoke at the 2020 Central Kentucky Heart Walk Kick-Off Event
- Spoke at kick-off event UK Healthcare Heart Walk 2020
- Dedicated his 2020 football season to Finn Collier, a seven-year-old who lost his life to a heart condition
- Participated in American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day (2020 and 2021)
- Participated in the 2021 Central Kentucky Heart Walk Digital Experience (2021)
- Coordinated and planned hands-only CPR training for the UK Football team and staff in Spring 2021 (video to follow)
- Helped plan a hands-only CPR media event on June 14 that promoted hands-only CPR awareness among the media for CPR Awareness Month
“Kenneth has been an incredible advocate for the American Heart Association’s mission,” said Julie Lay, the American Heart Association’s regional communications director. “As a survivor, he has first-hand knowledge of the trials and tribulations that can cause heart disease. He uses this knowledge to educate the community on what they can do to reduce their risk through his many platforms. Kenneth is an incredible asset to both our organization and our community, and the work he does really helps us save lives.”
The final 22-man team and honorary coach will be selected by a voting panel of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and journalists. They look for players who show exceptional leadership on and off the football field.
After the final team members were announced in September, fans will be able to vote for this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain via the official page on ESPN.com. Fans can use #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels to join the conversation throughout the season.
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