Even with uncertainty of who the next University of Wisconsin men’s basketball head coach is going to be, the current Badgers coaching staff couldn’t deny that La Crosse Central junior shooting guard Kobe King is the right fit for the program.
Having followed him around the country during the July evaluation period, and watched him prior to that at their advanced camp in June, Wisconsin associate head coach Greg Gard and head coach Bo Ryan decided to pull the trigger with a scholarship offer Friday night – the first in-state offer the Badgers have extended in the 2017 class.
“It means a lot,” King told BadgerNation. “They were also one of the first schools to recruit me. I’ve been waiting a little bit for (the offer). They’ve been watching me and getting to know me a little bit more as a person.”
Playing with the AAU Wisconsin Playground Warriors 16U program in Las Vegas this weekend, the 6-3, 170-pound King has been mainly recruited by Gard, who many inside and outside the program hope will be the successor to Ryan following the 2015-16 season. Count King as one of those people, as he has built a relationship with him that extends to his high school freshman season.
“It doesn’t matter too much who the next head coach is going to be but hopefully Gard gets the job,” said King. “(Our relationship) is pretty strong and still growing. We talk pretty much every day I’d say. Recently we’ve been talking a lot more.
“(Wisconsin) is close to home … so either way, whatever coach they bring in is going to be good.”
A four-star prospect who is ranked the No.6 shooting guard in the 2017 class and the No.36 overall prospect by Scout.com, King has led the Warriors to a 3-1 record thus far in Las Vegas by using his shooting touch, court vision and versatility to his advantage to score at the rim, hit jump shots and set up his teammates.
“I do pretty much whatever my team needs,” said King. “I know I have to get my confidence going and that gets other people’s confidence going. Whatever we need to do to win is what I try to do.”
The Badgers are King’s ninth offer, joining high major offers from Iowa State and Marquette and others from Drake, Green Bay, IUPUI, Northern Iowa, Portland and Valparaiso. He plans to visit Madison next month, where he has already visited for two basketball games and a football game.
“The atmosphere is great (at the Kohl Center),” said King. “It’s only packed there every night. It’s great. I love going there to watch their games.”