Despite his seemingly intimidating 6-foot-8 frame, Kenny Hall has a genuinely calm and reserved demeanor. With a starting position and eight points against the Commodores in Wednesday’s Vanderbilt game, one might assume that Hall could be overwhelmed with new responsibilities, but his determination has kept him level-headed and ready for more.
Hailing from Stone Mountain, Ga., Hall speaks highly of his new home in Knoxville and the fans that support the new freshmen class.
“First and foremost, I like the fans,” Hall said. “Everyone here is overwhelmingly kind and generous to me and the team.”
The young forward also compliments Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl for helping him improve throughout his first few months in college.
“There are so many lessons from Coach Pearl,” Hall said. “It seems like there are a million lessons in one practice session. But the most important lesson that he gives us is really not to take plays off. He’s helped me learn to make quick moves to stay in the game.”
Not only does Hall bring movement and energy to the game on the court, but he offers entertainment and a positive attitude off the court as well. Saying he cannot live without Zaxby’s and joking that his favorite part of Knoxville is The Daily Beacon, Hall remains surprisingly down to earth.
Teammate Steven Pearl says Hall is liked by all.
“Kenny is a funny, goofy, cool guy who jokes around with everyone on the team,” Pearl said. “Everyone likes having him around in the locker room, but he also brings a lot to the team as a whole. He is such a hard worker. He plays really good defense with a lot of energy. He’s also surprisingly strong, so he matches up really well against other teams.”
Both Pearl and Hall agree that Hall can improve as the season continues by trying not to rush plays while still being aggressive within the offense.
“He’s just got to stay patient,” Pearl said. “His aggressiveness is an asset, but he’s just got to be patient sometimes, and he’ll get there.”
Hall has not only gotten to live the exciting new experiences of a college freshman, but he was also a part of UT history when the Vols beat No. 1-ranked Kansas on Jan. 10, a game Hall said he will never forget.
“The most exciting thing that has happened to me since arriving in Knoxville has got to be the Kansas game,” Hall said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”