The Crimson White

Basketball a natural fit for King

Lauren Moranor

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Basketball ran in the family, so when Alabama’s 5-foot-4-inch guard LaToya King was deciding on what sport to play, basketball seemed like the natural fit.

“My mom, my dad, my sister all played,” King said. “When I saw them playing, I just copied everything they did.”

King, from Stuart, Fla., started her basketball career at Seminole Community College. There she was named a 2009 National Junior College Athletic Association Third-Team All-American. She also led the team in scoring, assists and steals. She averaged 17.2 points per game and 6.2 assists per game.

After two years in junior college, King looked at schools and decided to transfer to Alabama.

“It was close to home. When I came for a visit, all of the teammates were really cool,” King said.

King said she knew that the transition to playing basketball at Alabama would be very different from playing at her junior college. King said that at Alabama, the players are bigger and quicker and the tempo on the court is a lot faster. She said playing at Seminole Community College has prepared her well to play at Alabama.

“A lot of players in JUCO are pretty good,” she said. “They are definitely Division-1 players. There are some good JUCO players that are as big as these players, so that helped me know what I was coming into.”

In King’s first season with the Crimson Tide, she has been making a name for herself. She is coming off an 11-point game in the Tide’s win over Auburn, a career high for King in Southeastern Conference games. Currently she is second on the team in assists, averaging three per game, and steals, which she averages 1.3 per game. King has 133 points on the season, averaging six points per game.

Head coach Wendell Hudson said King’s time in JUCO has helped her be a key asset to the Alabama team.

“What she has brought is experience for one thing playing at a junior college for two years, and another thing is quickness and flexibility at the point guard position,” Hudson said. “Teams have not been able to press us as much and the turnovers have been cut down.”

While she is playing well, King also said she has many things she can still improve on during the season. She plans on becoming more vocal and get her teammates more involved. She would also like to get more aggressive on both sides of the ball. King said she would like to see the team get to the SEC tournament and win and keep going up.

Hudson believes that King has gotten used to the tempo, speed and quickness of the SEC. He said she is making a lot of better decisions.

“I’ll look for her to continue to get better and better and play better and help this team become better,” Hudson said.

King said she would like to have a good season next year and hopefully go overseas and play basketball.

King and the rest of the Alabama women’s basketball team will travel to No. 14 Georgia Sunday.

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Basketball a natural fit for King