Football Program Q&A: Kelvin Apari

Kelvin Apari action photo.
Photo Courtesy: Gil Talbot.

• What is your concentration?
Integrative Biology.

• What do you hope to do in life once football is finished?
Enjoy the next stage of my life before medical school.

• Can you explain the nuances of your position and provide something for the casual fan to better understand what you're seeing on the field?
There is a line of five guys that protect the guy throwing the football (think Tom Brady). My job is to get around those guys and tackle the guy throwing the ball.

• What is your first memory of football?
My first memory of football is playing "knee football" in the living room with my two older siblings. It consisted of two players, a return man, and a defender. The defender would throw the ball to the return man then attempt to tackle them. The returner would try to get around them and score.

• What's your favorite Harvard team to watch as a fan?
The men's basketball team.

• What are the hardest parts of being a student-athlete at Harvard?
Time management is definitely the hardest part of being a student-athlete, but it is also one of the most important skills to master. It involves precise scheduling, thoughtful decision making and sacrifice.

• What's the best part of a home football day?
The best part of a home football day is the locker room. It is interesting to observe everybody's "pre-battle" routine and how we get mentally prepared to compete in a contest that tests your preparation, skill and ultimately, your will to win. 

• Who do you like lining up against in practice?
I like lining up against most of the O-lineman. In particular, I enjoy facing Liam Shanahan. He forces me to bring my A-game and compete at a high level.

• Who has the best nickname on the team, and why?
Nasir Darnell aka "Poo Poo" has the best nickname on campus. The name embodies his personality and his physical build.

• Do you have a nickname?
My nickname is 8Ball. The name carried over from high school and came about because I wore the number 8.

• How has playing football at Harvard better prepared you for life?
Through my time here I have learned many important skills and practices while also improving upon others. These include discipline, physical conditioning, relating to peers, relating to authority and reacting to and handling emotions.

• What do you think when you hear Harvard's mission statement: 'Education Through Athletics'?
I think of all the life skills that cannot be learned in the classroom, but can be learned through sports that demand you to react and make smart, split-second decisions to succeed. 

• What do you want your Harvard legacy to be?
I want to be remembered as great player and a teammate who led by example. I hope people remember me as an athlete who embodied hard work and strived to make those around me better. 

• If you weren't playing football, you would be…
If football was not an option, I would most likely take up bodybuilding and possibly make music. 

• What is your favorite football memory?
My favorite football memory is from high school when, on the road to the state championship game, my team the Lone Star Rangers advanced to State by winning a triple-overtime game.

• What are your favorite places to eat in the square?
My favorite place to eat in the square is El Jefe's. Their quesadillas and nachos are top-notch.

• If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama and Harriet Tubman.

• Best football movie of all-time? Why?
The Longest Yard. It's a true comedy.

• If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Jay-Z. He is an influential entrepreneur and an inspiration to the African-American community.

• If you could go back, what's one piece of advice you would give to yourself as a freshman?
Go out and enjoy your undergraduate experience. You only get one chance to do so.

• Who has the best dance moves on the team? The worst?
Best: D-line
Worst: O-line

• Your favorite 'Murph'-ism (saying or quote from Coach Murphy)?
"Nobody has it better than us." As Harvard Football players, we are blessed and put in a position to help and give back to the community. With this opportunity comes our duty to do so.