Elkin High School graduate Dakota “Kody” King had an exemplary season on the court in his freshman year at William Peace University.
King was named the USA South Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year recently when 2015-16 all-conference awards were announced.
“The season was a little short of what we expected, but that happens,” said King during a phone interview Thursday. “I found out right before the conference tournament started.”
As a freshman, King said he started every game for William Peace in his first season. “It was a pretty good feeling,” he said of being such a prominent part of the WPU program.
The forward is William Peace’s first men’s basketball player to earn an individual USA South honor, according to a release from USA South.
“King led all rookies in scoring versus USA South competition averaging 11.4 points per game,” noted USA South. “He scored in double-figures eight times against conference opposition. Overall, King is currently averaging 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Finally, he ranks ninth in the conference with 55 offensive rebounds.”
“Our biggest competition was Covenant [College],” said King. “We lost to them twice this year, and the second time was in the conference tournament. They ended up winning the tournament.”
King said he thought he might be in the running for the rookie of the year award prior to finding out he was named, but he knew his teammate Sam Johnson had a chance of getting it too.
As a sophomore, he said his coaches will “expect me to become more of a leader.”
“We are extremely proud of Kody for taking home Rookie of the Year,” said WPU Coach Claude Shields in a release from the university. “Not only did he lead all freshmen scoring, but he does so many little things that go unnoticed in the box score. He has improved every single day throughout the season and is a great example of what this program is about.”
King is majoring in biology and plans to go on to graduate school later to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant. His parents are Byron and Tamra King of Elkin.
The USA South conference includes Averett University, Covenant College, Ferrum College, Greensboro College, Huntingdon College, LaGrange College, Mary Baldwin College, Maryville College, Meredith College, Methodist University, N.C. Wesleyan College, Piedmont college and William Peace University. In the 2016-17 school year, it will add Agnes Scott College, Salem College and Wesleyan College.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.