By John Kovach
To senior point guard Sam King of the Mount Union College basketball team, getting an assist in a game is just as good as scoring points — in fact even better.
“I think it is more important than making a basket. It helps with the team chemistry and gets other guys involved and gets their confidence up, and when other people score, it helps us all,” said King, a 6-foot senior point guard and playmaker from Brookfield High, who recently concluded his four-year career as the team leader every year in assists.
“Getting an assist is valuable. It’s like [scoring] points. Whatever helps the team is important to me.” Because, “The most important objective for the team is to score on an offensive possession.”
And, “Personally, I would like to make a nice pass for the bucket than to make a bucket. I definitely think it is more important.”
King’s statistical results as a four-year starter for Mount Union under coach Lee Hood certainly back up his love for making a play on the court.
He concluded his four-year career as the team leader every year in assists, finishing with 382 overall in 96 games for a 3.98 average.
King delivered 73 assists in 21 games this season for a 3.48 average, which ranked No. 5 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. His previous year-by-year totals were 101 assists in 24 games as a freshman, 125 in 26 as sophomore, and 79 in 25 as a junior.
For his four years, he helped Mount Union to a a 51-54 career record, including 11-15 this year and 9-9 in the OAC.
King said he just was doing his assigned job of being the playmaker, but a job that he also happened to like doing.
“We had a lot of scorers on the team so it was kind of my role to distribute the ball. That was my role ever since I came here. I was told to do that,” said King, who acted as a quarterback on the floor and called the plays.
“My role is getting the guys in their slots to run certain plays depending on the defense. Usually when the play goes through one cycle, and when I get the ball after using it to make the play, then we just play basketball.
“Coach Hood especially this year put me in charge of reading the defenses based on what I saw.”
But King was not all plays and passes. In fact, he was a multi-dimensional player, especially on defense.
He led the team in steals this year with 19 for a 1.38 average, while ranking second in each of the previous three seasons to end his career with 131 steals for 1.36 per game.
In addition, King also has been a consistent scorer with 755 career points for a 7.9-point average, including 148 points for a 7.0 average this season.
The son of Lisa and Chuck King, Sam is majoring in business administration with a 2.8 GPA, and planning to graduate in May. His career objective is to be a college basketball coach.
He believes he has the experience to be a good coach.
“I have learned a lot what works and what does not work. The experience helps to tell you what works and what doesn’t work,” said King, who was coached by Chris Fahndrich at Brookfield.
John Kovach covers college athletics for The Vindicator. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.