JPC: Where were you born?
Knox: I was born in Kingston, Jamaica. JPC: What was soccer like growing up?
Knox: From the age of 4, I was running around the streets barefooted playing soccer with my neighborhood friends. Unsure as to what brought me to the game, but I would imagine it was due to my Dad, Uncles and close friends all playing the game.
JPC: Did you have your own soccer ball you played with?
Knox: Often times, there would be only one ball for a group of 20 or 30 kids looking to play after school or whenever we all had free time. This unique setup allowed me to build my individual skillset because I had to learn to handle the ball in tight spaces against several defenders who all wanted their turn at the ball. I have fond memories of playing soccer in Jamaica. Due to my family’s status within the community, I would often get to juggle with the older men in the community, a privilege that was not extended to very many youths.
JPC: When did you move away from Jamaica?
Knox: I moved to the Bronx, New York when I was around 10 years old.
JPC: What was soccer like in the Bronx?
Knox: I was in shock at the fact that I couldn’t just find a normal field to play soccer…there were mainly basketball courts surrounding where I lived. I recall juggling my soccer ball on the bball court, when I was approached by a girl who was around my age…I was taught the game of basketball by a girl! I grew to like basketball, but nothing would compare to the joys of running on a soccer field and kicking a ball.
JPC: What impact has soccer had in your life?
Knox: Soccer has meant a lot and has done a lot for me at various stages of my life. I will never forget my dad telling me that I was one of the best 12 year olds in the country…I believed in his words and I quickly began to see what my soccer abilities could provide. As I progressed through the ranks within the game, I began to notice that the more I accomplished the less money my parents had to pay in order to have me play the game I loved. This was a huge source of motivation, as my family did not come from a lot of money and I knew playing well was a great way to help my parents out. I went from having one pair of cleats for an entire year to never buying another pair after my 15th birthday. I was able to represent the United States at the U18 and U21 level…this experience was invaluable for a young immigrant kid living in the Bronx. Through soccer I was able to see and co-exist among so many different cultures, customs and people. Soccer also provided me with the opportunity to receive an education from a World Class University.