football players on field

Did Kevin James Play Sports?

Many of us remember Kevin James as Albert Brennaman, the socially awkward and timid financial officer after the heart of Alegra Cole in the 2005 hit rom-com, Hitch. Aside from his choice performance in the film, if you were to ask around about who Kevin James is, it’s expected to receive answers relating him to Doug Heff from The King of Queens.

The world knows Kevin James as a funny, witty, and well-established actor; however, he must have other interests. Regardless, because of his performances as funny and goofy characters, an unsuspecting quality that anyone would assign the star is one that relates him to sports or athleticism.

One question that his fans have brought forward is: did Kevin James ever play sports? 

Kevin George Knipfing

April 26th, 1965, Kevin George Knipfing was born into a family living in Mineola, New York. Not long after, when Kevin was still young, his family embarked on the move to Stony Brook, New York, where Kevin attends Ward Melville High School. By the time 1983 rolled around, Kevin had fallen deeply in love… with sports. 

A New-Found Love

In high school, wrestling and football had taken all of Kevin’s attention, love, and passion. Notably, Kevin was on the same wrestling team as the WWE sensation Mick Foley and even took the top spot on the team over Mick, outranking him in their weight class of 145lbs. 

In addition to his joy of wrestling, Kevin also played tailback on the high school football team. Kevin underwent a minor back injury that would place him on the bench during his senior year of high school; however, the future actor still accepted the prestigious award of all-league. 

College Football

After high school, the love Kevin held for sports did not diminish; it only grew stronger. He attended the State University of New York, where he was a fullback on the varsity football team. He played for three years until, unfortunately, he suffered a devastating back injury that would pull him from the game of football forever. 

However, his inability to continue playing did not mean that he was suddenly past his love for sports. Instead, it was quite the contrary. James ended up majoring in sports management at the State University of New York.

It was also at this time that James developed a love for comedy through a public speaking class. He auditioned for his first role at Shoreham-Wading River Community Theater. He then began to perform stand-up comedy at a club in Long Island and gained popularity rapidly. 

Did Kevin’s Love for Sports Fade After Fame? 

To this day, Kevin is a big fan of football, basketball, UFC, and MMA. It was his friendship with the UFC fighter Bas Rutten that inspired the movie Here Comes The Boom. In the film, Kevin is a science teacher who turns to professional fighting to raise money for his struggling school. 

Kevin retains his passion and has his favorite teams. Not only does he support the NFL New York Jets, but also the NBA New York Knicks.

A Love that Never Dies 

Although he transitioned from playing sports in the field to acting on the screens, his first flame will never fizzle out. The next time you find yourself flipping through channels during football season and find that the Jets are playing, you can bet Kevin James is watching and cheering along. 

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  • Colleen Nair is a full-time writer. She earned a combined Environmental Studies and Sociology B.A. from Southwestern University, but found her passion in the art of well-crafted words. Her writings range from blogs to e-books, and she also does copywriting and editing. In her free time, she loves to read, hang out with her chickens, and longboard.

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