There were moments that The Colony senior Michael King could have let the moments disrupt his path to where he is now, but King embraced those times and is grateful for everything thrown his way.
As a sophomore at Plano West, King nearly missed out on playing for the junior varsity team. But that moment fueled him and only made him stronger, carving a path to where he is today.
Two years later, following a move to The Colony for his final high school campaign, King is set to embark on a college basketball career as he announced his commitment to York College, an NAIA school in Nebraska.
“I was thinking about how the little things I’ve passed and those things that happened, I wouldn’t be the person I am today,” King said. “I wouldn’t be in the spot that I am. Even like two years ago, I almost didn’t make the JV team at Plano West, but I did. If that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. To be able to play at the next level, that motivates me to just be able to just work harder.”
In those early stages of his high school career, college basketball wasn’t necessarily on the mind for King.
As a freshman, back when he lived in Chicago, he played basketball at a local park. He said he didn’t take it completely seriously yet at that point, but the coaches said he had the potential.
So, King played on his high school’s freshman team for one season before he moved to West, where his story took another turn. Once he nearly missed out on JV, college basketball wasn’t quite on his mind yet and he was instead focused on getting himself to play high school ball first, setting himself on a trajectory that would later pay dividends.
“Once that happened, I was determined to play all years of high school and play because at the time I wasn’t even thinking about playing in college,” King said. “I just wanted to play high school. And then once my junior year ended, I thought it would be best for me to go to The Colony. I think I did pretty well for my first year on varsity. I feel like I’m able to keep pushing myself and then move forward.”
And King kept on pressing forward behind tremendous work ethic and character – two qualities The Colony head coach Cleve Ryan raved about.
During his one year at The Colony, King made an impact in every facet, whether it was on the court helping the Cougars to another playoff berth or just lending a helping hand to whoever he could on campus.
“He was always willing to do things for others, help out, learn new tasks, just different things like that – whether it was helping us with laundry sometimes, to even helping coach Davis, the girls basketball coach, put antifreeze in her car,” Ryan said. “Just different things like that that he was always willing to help other people out. And so that’s the thing I’m grateful and blessed that he came to The Colony and we got to know him and be around him.”
King produced in every which way on the basketball court for the Cougars, and his impact went well beyond the box score.
He went on to average five points, four rebounds, one assist and one block per game, earning himself an honorable mention all-district nod in District 8-5A. With him on the roster, The Colony finished in a three-way tie for second place – it came away with the district’s No. 4 seed in the playoffs – and secured a third consecutive playoff berth before dropping a close 44-42 loss to Colleyville Heritage in the bi-district round.
“I think that he was always one of those guys willing to do the things sometimes that may go unnoticed in the stats, things like that, may not be in the scoreboard or whatever, but willing to take charges down the floor, rebounds and things like that,” Ryan said. “Just a very unselfish player. I think just the more he played and things like that, he just got better and better.”
Now King is soon off to York College, a school that showed him they wanted him from the second they began the recruiting process back in February.
Keyaun Hoskin, an AAU teammate of King’s who just completed his freshman season at York College, talked to the York College coach about King. After the playoff game versus Colleyville Heritage, King started talking with the staff at York College, and the relationship would only grow from there.
The recruiting process was different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making King unable to take a visit to the campus before committing, but the coaches sent him virtual tours. And after talking to players about the experience there, he knew this was the right place.
"When they recruited me, they were the most excited. I could tell that they really wanted me to go there and they really planned on having me play,” King said. “I like the way they play. I like how the coaching staff is and all that."
King hopes to win a championship when he becomes a York College Panther, and his head coach at The Colony sees a very bright future in store for him.
“As a player, I think you’ll get just the guy that’s unselfish, just does the little things when he’s out there,” Ryan said. “With Mike, he’s got a lot of potential ahead of him where just the more he’s in the gym, just to get with his body as tall as he is, works on his shot, works on his ball-handling.
“Just the more he’s in the gym, he’s going to get better and better at those things. I’m looking forward to how he’ll develop and play. He’s got all the right things in line just to be a productive young man.”