|V.J.KING: Class of 2016|
Written by: Robert Alfonso, Jr.
SUWANEE – Right now, Vince King Jr. understands the journey is far from complete. His mission is to stare at the challenges basketball presents ¬ on an off the court ¬ in hopes of being the best in the game. While others are reaping the benefits of rankings before they get into high school, he takes it as an opportunity to get better.
King's focus is to work on his game. He is not looking to create a highlight reel for the internet. Despite not being on anyone's radar as a middle schooler, King was invited to the 2011 Fab Frosh Camp at Suwanee Sports Academy this weekend. This invitation-only elite camp is the final step for many of the players before entering high school where they can blossom into superstars. However, since its inception in 2007, all the players who attended the camp would enter high school in the fall.
King's attendance in the camp made him the second eighth-grader to get an invitation and actually play in the national camp, which is drawing players from all over the country. The first eighth-grader was recent UVA commit Justin Anderson. King's effort over the weekend also landed him in the Top 20 game.
"It's fun," said King, of making history. "It's a challenge."
The challenge for King is finding different parts of his game to work on during the weekend camp. He is looking to work on his weakness while many of his peers are concerned with getting theirs. This is something that is difficult to do in an individual camp. This has not stopped King from correcting his flaws.
He has learned that work on consistency, playing hard on every play, and developing a left hand. After every game session, some campers are more interested in the number of points they scored or if a writer is watching their game. King walks off the court to get an evaluation from his dad. The elder King played 10 years professionally overseas. Basketball has allowed him to see the game from a different perspective.
The King's work on the fundamentals of the game and it has paid off. As a seventh grader, the younger King started for the junior varsity team of United Faith Christian Academy averaging 26 points a game. He also played on the varsity team and averaged seven points a game. The Falcons fell short of their goal a state title.
"He truly loves to compete," said King, who played for Greece, Spain, Cyprus, and Korea.
"He truly wants to be the best he can be."
Getting involved with basketball was something the younger King wanted to do. His dad did not want to force him to play. The elder King did not want to be that father who lost his son to the game. Soon, after moving from Cleveland to Charlotte, the younger King took a loving to the sport and his dad helped coach.
His son was not only having fun, he wanted to excel.
"You want them (your children) to emulate you but you want him to be better than you," said King, who played for Indiana University Pennsylvania. "It's important to build a relationship. I wanted to make sure he loved the game."
As the younger King's passion grew, so did his game. Moves they worked on in practice and during training sessions manifested themselves in games. Most of those moves are around the basket but King is developing a face-up game that is only going to get better. He earned the Future Prospect Award at Five-Star basketball in Virginia.