King reigns as top scorer in first year as Pioneer

Photo by Megan Bixler | Point Park Athletics
Daniel King goes above and beyond the defenders to make a shot. King is a sophmore guard from Detroit, Michigan. The Pioneers took the win against Rio Grande on Nov 29.

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

Detroit native Daniel King is no stranger to Western Pennsylvania after beginning his college career at Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) in 2016.

King attended WCCC and played as a guard and forward for the men’s basketball team before trading the blue and green jerseys of the Wolfpack for the green and gold jerseys of the Point Park University Pioneers.

“I talked to the Point Park coach, and he gave the opportunity to just play right away so I took it,” King said.

Pioneer men’s basketball head coach Gabe Bubon set his sights on King for the 2017-2018 season. In 28 games, King averaged 19 points per game and drained 72-percent of his free-throws during his lone season with the Wolfpack.

“He’s a scorer, and that’s what he was brought in to do and he’s doing his job,” Bubon said. “He’s very explosive. He’s very quick, he’s got a good shot – just a pretty skilled offensive player.”

As of Jan. 8, the 6-foot-2 sophomore guard leads the team with an average of 19.3 points per game and 38 three-pointers after playing the most minutes out of the entire Pioneer roster.

“I love his competitive spirit,” Bubon said. “When he’s fully engaged he plays at a very high level and that’s what I appreciate the most out of him – his competitive nature.”

Junior forward Cortez Allen agrees King is competitive.

“In practice we’ll always go at it with each other but in a good way,” Allen said. “We like to compete and make each other better.”

Photo by Megan Bixler
Sophomore Daniel King goes for a shot contested by multiple Rio Grande defenseman. King leads the Pioneers in scoring with over 19 points per game.

King attributes his competitive nature in part to his father. Following his father’s footsteps and picking up a basketball at the age of eight, King holds on to his inspiration’s words of wisdom.

“Always stay focused,” King said. “Always stay focused on my goals and always do whatever it takes to be a winner.”

King strives to do just that.

After football season ended, the Southfield Lathrup High School student played on a successful basketball team, leading the squad in points during his junior and senior years. King played in district championships and Michigan State Championships before being recruited by the Wolfpack via highlight footage.

While enrolled at WCCC, King received National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Region Second Team and All-Conference First Team honors.

Now, King brings his talent to the Pioneers

“He seems to be getting better and better as each game goes, so that’s encouraging as a coach,” Bubon said.

King’s teammates also notice his love for the game.

“He loves to win,” Allen said. “He loves to play the game.”

Apart from athletics, King studies business management and aspires to run his own sports agency in the future.

Despite his original education plans, King enjoys the city atmosphere.

“I didn’t expect to be in Pittsburgh,” King said. “That was like my last option. I was thinking about staying closer to home. I never imagined being in Pittsburgh. City life is different. You can walk everywhere and see different stuff. Every day I see something new.”

King enjoys the lack of “negative energy” from the people he has connected with since arriving at Point Park. His teammates enjoy his humor and calm attitude.

“Those are probably the two most recognizable things about [Daniel],” Allen said. “He’s funny and laid back. I don’t think he realizes how funny he is.”

Bubon also appreciates King’s attitude off the court.

“He’s pretty lowkey,” Bubon said. “He’s not real vocal, but I kind of like that about him. He’s reserved.”