Heart - not height - key to King's boards success
Garden City senior Brad King is one of the best rebounding small forwards in the area. / ED WRIGHT
Originally posted on www.hometownlife.com by Ed Wright
It happened like clock work in most Garden City boys basketball games last winter: An opposing player – sometimes standing as tall as 6-foot-5 – would shake his head in frustration after the Cougars’ 5-foot-11 rebounding machine snatched another missed shot from his grasp.
The machine’s name is Brad King and there is really no secret to his amazing success around the glass.
“You just have to get in there, be strong and don’t be afraid,” King said, when asked how he out-muscles and out-hustles bigger foes to the ball. “When I played AAU basketball when I was younger, I was always going up against guys who were 6-4 and 6-5. I just learned how to be quicker and faster to the ball than them.”
King also learned a thing or two about playing against taller opponents from his older brothers, Brett and Brandon.
“They helped toughen me up,” he said, smiling.
Did they ever give their little bro’ some slack on the King familyhoop court?
“Never,” he said. “But that’s the way I wanted it.”
King is far from a one-dimensional player. Armed with some crafty moves in the paint, he uses his left-handed shot to his advantage.
“Being left-handed definitely helps, especially early in games,” he said. “The defensive guys expect you to be right-handed because most people are, and then you fake right and go left and you catch them off guard a little bit. They usually catch on by late in the game.”
But by then, it’s often too late, judging by King’s healthy points-per-game average last season.
King, who is the grandson of former Garden City athletic director Bill Pinnell, is enthusiastic about the upcoming season, which tips off next week.
“Everybody on this team has heart,” he said. “We all want to be here and we all put in extra work.”
King’s athletic future lies on the baseball field. A hard-throwing pitcher, he has already received offers from at least two collegeprograms.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was about 4, but I started playing baseball even before that, which I guess is why I like baseball more,” he said.
King is an extraordinary student and the owner of a 3.97 grade-point average. He listed his favorite subjects as history and social studies.