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Rising George King Could Be Anchor for NAZ Suns

By Jacob Withee | September 28, 2018

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Just a few years ago, you probably didn’t know the name George King. Heck, unless you studied the NBA Draft process or followed the Pac-12 closely, you still might not know his name. But you will soon.

King is a Two-Way forward for the Phoenix Suns, meaning he will spend much of the year with the Northern Arizona Suns. Besides his great basketball talent, he has many traits the town of Prescott Valley, Arizona, will appreciate. He is a hard-working, humble man. He wants to help the community, especially veterans, since his mom is a Chief Master Sgt. in the Air Force. He also strives to be the best, and shows continued improvement in what he sets his mind to.

His freshman year at the University of Colorado, King averaged just 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. In modern day when many freshmen excel at the collegiate level and enter the NBA Draft after their first season, King was pretty far from that reality. That didn’t deter him. He redshirted his next year, putting all of his effort in improving his game.

With all of that hard work, he won the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year award, averaging 13.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, while leading the league in three-point shooting percentage (.456). The next year, his rebounding numbers swelled, as he posted 6.8 boards per contest his junior season.

Owning a 6-foot 6-inch, 220-pound build, King flirted with the NBA Draft process in 2017 and was told by front office executives to work on his defense. Again, hard work paid off, as he more than tripled his blocks per game average to 0.7, also averaging 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds to garner All-Pac-12 Second Team honors. He finished his collegiate career second in CU history in three-point shooting at 40.1 percent (181-of-451).

King still had a lot of work to do before the NBA Draft to have a shot at the dream moment of hearing his name called. First, he excelled at the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ All-Star Game. Then he opened eyes at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, performing so well he earned himself an invite to the NBA Combine. Keeping up his great play there, he parlayed that into workouts with several NBA teams. Then finally, he heard his name called on June 21, 2018, as the Phoenix Suns selected him 59th overall.

The 24-year-old will suit up for the Suns for the first time on Monday when the team takes on the Sacramento Kings. The Suns begin their regular season on Oct. 17 against the Dallas Mavericks, before the NAZ Suns even begin training camp, so King could log meaningful minutes for the NBA club soon.

When he first arrives at Prescott Valley however long after that, he will bring a great scoring ability with excellent marksmanship, a strong rebounding frame, an improved defensive focus, and a willingness to work hard and to win. If King continues his rising trend, he could soon be an anchor for the Phoenix Suns’ affiliate team.