James Creed: Soccer Player Used Sport to Break Down Barriers

This week's Scholar Athlete moved to Queens from Haiti three years ago and through communicating with his soccer teammates, he learned to speak English. NY1’s Anthony Pascale filed the following report.

Soccer has done much more for James Creed than just keep him in shape, it helped him learn English.

“Most of my friends, they're not from the same country as me. Even though at the beginning we didn't speak the same language, we were like 'Hey! Pass me the ball!’” said Creed.

Creed moved here from Haiti three years ago. He began playing soccer as a child.

When he moved to Queens, he joined the Flushing International High School's soccer team.

Creed says the sport helped him break out of his shell and become a better student, despite not knowing the language.

“It teaches me how to communicate with other people, like how to communicate with my teammates and yeah, I use this lesson and use it in the class,” said Creed.

Creed has a packed schedule, in and out of the classroom.

The senior challenged himself by enrolling in a college-level philosophy course.

He's also a volunteer at the YMCA, a French tutor at NYU, and even holds a part-time job at the New York Hall of Science. He does this all while keeping his GPA above 90.

“He puts something in his mind and he really does achieve it. And he tries to the best of his ability, whether it's hard or not, he really gives his all,” said Geometry teacher Estefania Hereira.

“He's always the first on the field for warm ups and practices, he really motivates the other players a lot, both in school in academics and on the field,” said soccer coach Jack Pescatello.

Though he was not personally impacted by the devastating earthquake in Haiti five years ago, it did inspire him to help others. Creed plans to study biology in college and then go to medical school. His ultimate goal is to one day return to Haiti as a doctor.

“Basically, you can do anything, as long as you put your mind to it and try to do your best. Me, I try to do my best as hard as I can,” Creed said.

So, for breaking down all barriers, James Creed is our Ford Lincoln of Queens NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.

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