Tyshell King has no idea what her life would be like without basketball, which she began playing in middle school.
“I love the game of basketball,” the St. Frances Academy standout said. “I love everything about it. I love defense, offense – it’s hard just to say one thing.”
It doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty good at it. The Panthers junior has played played both guard positions for the varsity since she was a freshman, and been a starter and team captain since her sophomore year. Last season she was all-Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference first team, and St. Frances’ defensive player of the year.
Head coach Jerome Shelton said King is everything you can ask for in a player, yet is still getting better.
“She’s an exceptional person to work with – she listens well and has a great work ethic,” Shelton said. “She’s a person who is success driven and I think that carries over to her ability on the court. She challenges herself and her teammates in practice and in games. She’s learning how to be a leader.”
That drive ratchets up to another level during games. King enjoys all aspects of the competition, especially shutting down opponents and setting up her teammates for baskets.
“I love to get in my opponent’s head on defense and make steals,” King said. “On offense, I like the fact that I can be unpredictable with the basketball in my hand. I try to get my teammates involved, but if the shot is there then I try to take my shot.”
When she is not on the hardwood sizing up defenses, King has a course load full of honors courses to keep her busy.
She is also a member of the Key Club, a group that empowers its members through the cultivation of leadership skills, development of friendships and performance of service. Her service includes assisting at summer basketball camps.
Though more than a year from her 2013 graduation, King knows where her future lies. She was recruited by a number of top-tier programs, including Harvard, Syracuse, Maryland, North Carolina and Duke, but has verbally committed to take her talents to Winston-Salem, N.C., and play for Wake Forest University.
“It’s a beautiful school,” King said. “When I visited there, I felt comfortable, I felt at home. As soon as I met the coach, we bonded, so there was no question about attending that college.”
King said she hopes that this will be a springboard to bigger and better things to come for her and her family.
“Whatever hard work I put in,” she said, “will pay off in the future.”