Brother's Influence

Growing up, Anthony King and his brother, James, had many battles on the basketball court in their backyard. Most of the time, Anthony lost the games to his older brother. "I would play him in the backyard, and I would go back into the house crying because he beat me," King said. "My mom would tell me to back out and play him again, and I would lose some more."

Their final battle came during Christmas break of Anthony's junior year of high school. Anthony then towered over his 6-foot-4 brother and discovered a newfound sense of confidence for beating his older and stronger brother.

"We were playing outside in the winter," King said. "He came home for Christmas and I was talking to him all day. He said all right come on, and he took me out to the park and beat me—easily too."

Little did Anthony know that he would never get another chance to beat his brother again. While playing a basketball game down in Alabama, James went up for a shot and never got up.

James King died on November 27, 2002.

"He just collapsed on the court," he said. "He went up for a shot, scored and came down and just collapsed. Basically it had to do with the muscles around the heart.

"We were very close. At home, it was my mother, brother, sister and me."

James' sudden death deeply impacted Anthony, he thought of quitting basketball. He now has a tattoo on his left arm in memory of James. Now, Anthony leans on his mother for advice on school and the strength.

Achieving well in school is a point Anthony's mother still tells him. "My mom says, ‘when you make a C and you know you can get a B or an A, don't settle for a C.'"

King not only gets advice from his mom on school work, she has some basketball knowledge. He attributes his blocking technique to his mother.

"My mom told me, you don't need to block a shot so far that it goes out of bounds, you have to learn how to keep it in play," he said. "I think Bill Russell used to do that real well. I just tried doing that and it is still working.

If at the beginning of the season somebody told you Anthony King is going to be second in the league in blocks, you'd think they were crazy. But King has done just that, he is Miami's defensive star this season. He is second in the ACC, averaging 3.22 blocks per game.

"It comes naturally I guess. In high school, people will try to come into you and try to draw fouls," he said. "I guess I just found a way to block shots without drawing too many fouls."

King understands that the next game versus Virginia Tech is very important. The Hokies stole a victory at Miami on February 2, but they have lost three straight games since.

"It is very important. We have four games left. We have to come in there with a type of urgency. Any time somebody beats you at home, you feel like you really have to get them back at their house."

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