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November 29, 2012November 29, 2012 - In September, Class of 2013 guard Tyshell King was confronted with the devastating news her father, Freddie, had been killed. This month she sat in front of students and faculty at Baltimore, MD's St. Frances Academy, announcing her commitment to Georgetown University, at times forcing back tears, and at others expressing happiness. This young lady keeps pressing on.
Her dad played a huge part in her life.
"He actually had to force me into basketball" shared King, a 5'11" guard known for her ability to create shots, after the ceremony. The two had a very close bond, one forged through love and hard times. Of those challenges, she recounted "We went through a lot. We lived in a house with no electricity. That's tough. We washed up with cold water. Didn't really eat. My father didn't eat - passed out feeling dizzy.
"It's life, it happens. I'm not going to hang it over my back and hold my head down. There are better things ahead of me".
Freddie actually had a central role in his daughter, a former Wake Forest commit choosing G'Town, after a coaching change at that North Carolina institution. It was he that suggested Tyshell "open it back up since there was no coach there", according to Tyshell. That she did, fielding offers and interest from "over 50 D1 schools", before choosing the Hoyas.
"It came down to a lot of big time schools" she said. "And I chose Georgetown, to stay closer to home".
That's not to say the institution itself does not have allure. King on the benefits she believes Georgetown offers: "I feel as though going to Georgetown, it's bigger than basketball. I have bigger dreams. I feel as though I want to accomplish a goal, which is to become a doctor - anesthesiologist, pediatrician, either one. And I feel as though basketball is going to pave the way.
"But Georgetown is not just an athletic school; I'm not going for basketball. I love basketball, I want to play basketball, without basketball I wouldn't be here where I'm at. But it's much bigger than basketball, because it doesn't last forever".
Tyshell indicated the team's head coach, Keith Brown, understands her larger mission. "My schoolwork comes before anything" she said. "When I first went up to Georgetown, I told my coach (Brown)...If I have to miss a couple of practices to do a couple of labs, than that's what I have to do".
King's relationship with Brown - in his first year as head coach after being an assistant there for five seasons - is strong; When asked if she's received 'suggestions' (i.e. life coaching) from the vocal Brown, Tyshell laughed before responding "Of course he tells me the truth He's like an uncle".
Already feeling part of the Hoya Nation, King noted "He has our best interests all types of love. He doesn't even call us his players. He calls us 'his children. His babies'".
Count star player Sugar Rodgers as another current Hoya confidant. The two talk frequently, with King concluding "She's like my sister". Tyshell has been told by those in the program "When I go there they want me to fill her shoes. But I want to make my own footsteps, make my own name - Tyshell King at Georgetown".
One name she obviously will never forget is that of her pops - Freddie King.
"I would give up everything, just to tell him thank you" she told the packed St. Frances chapel. "I would, just to kiss him.
"What he did for me, y'all don't really understand. He taught me how to be a young lady. He taught me about self respect. He taught me about basketball. He was my best friend".
Tyshell King also hinted later, that Freddie is happy for his daughter's choice and future. Best believe she's going to press on for it.
See our Premium Court message board to discuss King and find out who she is set to room with.