"Not a lot of people can say they're living their dream."Kemp grew up in a single-parent household, with his mom, Judy Henderson, a nurse.Even though Atlanta is more than 800 miles away, it was easy for him and a cousin to get hooked on the Braves, whose games were broadcast on TBS."We, like, lived for the Braves," Kemp says.But so is the joy, which he credits to his teammate and friend."Honestly, you know who has a lot to do with that is Freddie," Kemp says."I've played with a lot of guys that like to have fun and joke around, but he's just one guy that—I honestly never see him, like, mad."The chemistry worked in the lineup, too.Like Le Bron said, it doesn't matter how much people admire you, how much money you have, how famous you are. Maybe it didn't exist because all he was doing was playing ball and wasn't yet famous. He's not sure."But when you get older you start to realize, like, 'Dang. "It's kind of crazy."Growing up in Midwest City, Oklahoma, Kemp and his cousins were "pretty much" the only African-Americans on his teams, he says.
Hopefully I don't swing at pitches like that now," he wisecracks—with a look of determination on his young face, long before the glitz and the glamour ever entered his life."You look at a picture like that, and that's like—that's me as a kid dreaming about playing baseball, and now I'm living that dream," Kemp says."He draws people to him, and you just want to be around him.Every day, obviously when I'm healthy, we would go get our Starbucks together, we go out to the field together, we do pretty much everything together. He works hard every single day, and that rubs off on other people."Kemp's intensity is visible.Since Kemp arrived in Atlanta, he and Freeman have grown close.
Freeman calls Kemp's personality "infectious.""It's a great personality," Freeman says.
"Now it's not as easy to do that because my ankle doesn't allow me to be as fast as I once was.