Nov. 11, 2005
By Ken Kleppel
“Of those to whom much is given, much is expected.”
At the Friday night pep rally before Kory Minor’s final home game against Louisiana State, Minor’s mother Kim walked to the podium and surprised her son and the capacity Joyce Center crowd with a moving `thank you’ to the Notre Dame community for taking care of Kory during his four year stay at the University.
In the first row of players’ seats, with tears of pride slowly streaming from his eyes to his cheeks, Minor carefully listened in appreciation of the moment he was experiencing. Less than four years earlier, Kim Brown-Minor accompanied Kory on his recruiting visit to campus where the pair first became enamored with Notre Dame. That night her son’s journey was nearly complete.
The Notre Dame community did watch over Minor, graduating a student who was respected on campus as much for his concern for others and Christian faith as for any gridiron statistic, cheering on a team captain and all-time sacks leader who enjoyed a four-year career with the Carolina Panthers before retirement in 2003, and educating a marketing major who returned home to southern California and embarked on a livelihood as a wine consultant for the E.&J. Gallo Winery.
But by the time he first set foot on campus, Minor had already received a lifetime’s worth of guidance from his mother.
“She is a person who gave her whole life to her children,” says Minor. “All the late nights talking about homework, family, and games — she was a woman of many hats for me. The knowledge I learned from her and the love I have for her is truly priceless.”
As a single parent, Kim successfully raised her son Kory and daughter Koi, who is now a high school junior and nationally recognized basketball standout.
Today, mother and son live just miles apart in suburban Los Angeles. Kim teaches in Head Start, a child development program designed to assist children and pregnant women in families with low income, in Colton. Kory and his wife Lisa, “nearly” high school sweethearts who met on graduation day at Bishop Amat Memorial High School and dated while classmates at Notre Dame, have a four-month old daughter Ilyanna and reside in Moreno Valley.
More importantly, though, Minor’s mother continues to provide the example by which her son treats others. Just as he served the South Bend community as a Notre Dame student, Minor volunteers in the Los Angeles community as a speaker in area schools and with his mother’s Head Start group.
“I get to know everybody I come across,” says Minor. “I was always a person who cared about people and their well-being. I hope to be the one that brightens up a room with my laughter and smile.”
Because of all that he has been given, Minor adheres to the notion that much is expected.
A good mother still means everything.
Editor’s Note: The author wishes to recognize the amazing impact of his own mother, Judith.