WAXAHACHIE — At 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds, Southwestern Assemblies of God University kicker, Tluang Hmung, doesn’t look like he would be a force to be reckoned with on the football field.
The standout kicker from Lewisville has made a name for himself as a valued member of the nationally ranked Lions. While his strength on the football field is impressive, but it is his personal story of a being a 10-year-old kid fleeing his home country of Burma that shows he truly has the courage of a Lion.
Hmung and his family, which include his mom and dad, as well as an older brother and sister, lived in the Chin state of Burma. Hmung and his family lived through religious persecution first-hand. The Hmung family, like many in the Chin state, are Christians. The majority of Burma is Buddhist.
“My biggest memory from my time living in Burma is waking up early in the morning and going to Sunday school with friends,” recalled Hmung.
The joys and freedom of that time in Hmung’s life soon came crashing down. His family made the decision to leave Burma and flee to Malaysia when he was just 10 years old, “It took us about eight hours to get to Malaysia and we walked in the middle of the night,” explains Hmung, “The reason for leaving Burma is simply to have a better life here.”
Once in Malaysia, the Hmung family was able to decide their next step. The Hmung’s grandfather lived in Lewisville, and they decided it would be their next destination. Once plans were in place, the family was able to settle in America.
Moving 8,500 miles away from the only home they had ever known had many challenges said Hmung.
“When I arrived here I was just overwhelmed. Everything was different, the food, people, houses. I also didn’t speak any English.”
The Hmung family arrived in Texas in 2005. Over the past 12 years, T. Hmung has made a name for himself on the football field, a sport that was unknown to him in Burma. In middle school, his dad urged him to try-out for football. Kicking made sense since he had always played soccer. The position fit him perfectly and his career took-off.
Currently, Hmung ranks second in the nation (NAIA) in scoring (kicking) per game with 8.1 ppg. He ranks No. 5 in total scoring (kicking) with 65 points. He also ranks four other times in the top 50 with field goals.
Beyond football, Hmung is preparing for his life outside of SAGU, “My major is youth and student ministries. I’m hoping to become a youth pastor or coach when I’m done with school.”
Before any plans post-graduation can be made, Hmung and the rest of the Lions have a little business still to handle.