It’s been a while since Wisconsin basketball fans have heard the name Kobe King. The last we really heard about King was that he was leaving the Wisconsin basketball team and there were a ton of rumors as to why. The biggest rumor was about former strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland using a racial slur around players. But King later explained it was a lot of different reasons, including head coach Greg Gard.
He committed to Nebraska shortly after he left Wisconsin but he never really made it there. He decomitted from Nebraska and essentially fell off the face of the Earth.
He hired and agent and entered the G-League draft, but wasn’t taken. So he got back into college basketball and is now playing for Valparaiso. He joined his former Wisconsin basketball teammates Joe Hedstrom and Trevor Anderson. Because King hired an agent for the G-League draft, he wasn’t eligible for the Beacon’s first nine games.
In his first game of eligibility, he came off the bench against East-West University and played 23 minutes. In those 23 minutes he shot 9-13 overall and 1-3 from deep. He scored 19 points and added five rebounds and four assists. He was named the State Farm Great Performer of the Game as well.
Not bad for a guy who hasn’t played a college basketball game in two years.
I know some Wisconsin basketball fans may think negatively of King. Sure, his exit from Madison wasn’t the most graceful. At the time, it felt like a lot of finger pointing and blaming others, but that was two years ago. I’d hope Wisconsin fans would have the capacity to get over the situation and be happy for a kid who made a change that he thought was best for him.
The Badgers and the Beacons won’t play each other this year, so I’d think that we as a Wisconsin fan base would be capable of cheering for the Valparaiso team that has three former Badgers. It’s fun to keep tabs on former Badgers and see how their career unfolds, even if it isn’t in Madison.
I’m happy for Kobe King and the fact that he was able to get back into college basketball.