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Kris Kornegay-Gober: “I do things that will propel me into a different light in a new arena”

kris kornegay-gober, high jump

Kris Kornegay-Gober goes out of his way to be at the right place at the right time. His “smart circles” keep him close to where he wants to be.

The first time we talked to Kris Kornegay-Gober he was teaching himself to play the piano while taking his first steps as a professional high jumper. Coming from a musical family, Kornegay-Gober has plenty of inspirations in the music world, even if he does not have the time to play as much as he would like.

“John Legend is an excellent musical talent. On the piano he is amazing and he can sing as well. It would be amazing to meet John Legend and make some music with him.

“John Legend just dropped an album not too long ago, called ‘Darkness and Light.’ He’s got a song on there called ‘Penthouse Floor.’ Beautiful melodies, amazing song, probably my favorite song on the album. I know all of John Legend’s older songs like ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘Save Room,’ those have historically been my songs, but I think this one is even better.”

“The other is Jamie Foxx. A lot of people don’t know he is more than just a comedian.He is very talented in how he can sing and play piano. In one of his stand ups, I think it was “Straight from the Foxxhole,” he played piano while he was doing comedy. He sang a little too, and it was funny and just a great environment.”

Kris Kornegay-Gober does more than just listen and muse about a duet with John Legend or Jamie Foxx. Despite being in a low-profile sport, he encounters his fair share of celebrities in his new home of Atlanta. He was at the same club as Cam Newton barely a few weeks after nabbing a selfie with Chris Tucker.

“I was actually at work when I met Chris Tucker. He just walked in [to Dick’s Sporting Goods]… As I got closer I thought, wow, this is really Chris Tucker. So I slowed about 10 yards away from him. 10 seconds into me just freezing and staring he looks up and says ‘Hey, how’s it going man?'”

Kornegay-Gober chalks these moments up to making the right decisions in the right place. A Washington, DC, native, he finds Atlanta full of possibilities for anyone smart enough to take advantage of them.

“I can say it’s a bigger mixing pot down here. The city of Atlanta itself is not that big, but the surrounding metropolitan area is is about 2.5 million people. It’s a popular spot to be at, and a few different cultures… Atlanta has a lot of artists from this area who want to come back, and show their faces and different venues and events.”

“I travel in smart circles. I stay out of trouble, I do things that will propel me into a different light in a new arena. I set myself up to be successful and meet people, although maybe I might not meet people all the time.”