Signee Spotlight: Fredrick King
When you find great riches the first rule of the Treasure Hunter is to TELL NO ONE!!!! That also applies when it comes to basketball recruiting and when UofL head coach Chris Mack found treasure in the Caribbean he made sure to keep that info on lock. And his clandestine mission paid off big time in a huge commitment and signature from Fredrick King a 6-10 big man from Mangrove Cay, Andros in the Bahamas.
And while it may seem this name is brand new and it all came out of the blue that is not the case. New assistant coach Ross McMains has a ton of international roots and that was something UofL wanted to take advantage of. So McMains decided to make his way to Mexico City for the NBA Academy Showcase which is an invitational for the international youth league created by the NBA committed to the growth and exposure of young international prospects from around the globe. McMains knows that this is a fertile recruiting ground for talent and with his connections he would have a decided advantage finding the “next big thing” overseas talent. McMains said that it took 5 minutes watching King to see his talent just jumping off the page. The McMains hire has already paid huge dividends and kudos to Chris Mack for finding and hiring the out of the box coaching prospect.
So what about King as a prospect? Is he a project or a player? Well I took the time to watch a couple complete games for King as the NBA Academy makes the game file available so I was able to get a good look at the big man. The thing I like about watching international prospects vs high school kids are in these types of tournaments they are competing with other kids that have professional potential, size, and athleticism. I prefer this to watching high school game tape unless it is two prep schools playing because there is usually a big talent and size mismatch so it is hard to get a good feel. Both games I watched King faced Team Africa which featured 4 7’0″+ kids as well as 4 players between 6’10” and 6’11” so he was playing against guys with NBA size and athleticism so you get a great look at him vs legit defenders.
The thing I love about kids in NBA prep programs are going to get accurate height and weight listings because that is information that NBA and International teams need for the evaluation process. So all of the measurements are going to be accurate as listed on their team rosters via combine style measurement process. Fredrick stands 6 foot 10 inches and 220 pounds with a 9’2″ standing reach which would put him at around a 7’3″ or 7’4″ wingspan. Those measurements for Standing Reach and Wingspan would put him in the Top 5 in both categories for all prospects measured for the 2021-22 NBA season. So King has NBA level size, length, and he is not a rail thin prospect. He has a frame that could and should hold easily another 30-40 pounds without effecting his quickness.
Coach McMains said that when he evaluated King he saw a player that had everything you want from a player both physically as well as his mental make-up. I totally agree with that but I will take it a step further and say he also has it from a skill development standpoint. I saw a player at his size that looked very comfortable handling the ball off the rebound taking it coast to coast as well as in traffic. King also showed throughout the videos a knack for keeping his head up looking for teammates to drop passes to both down low as well as on the perimeter. This shows a natural and instinctual feel for the game. He was not robotic in his movements and was very intentional in looking to make the right play when he had the ball in his hands. King also showed an adept shooting touch and footwork around the rim as well as from the perimeter. He was decisive using post moves and counters on the block and shot the ball with very fundamental looking stroke on his perimeter jump shot leading to an overall shooting percentage of 77%. King shot an above average 76% from the free throw line for the tournament which was impressive as well. King told reporters last year that he needed to really work on his shooting and that looks to be paying off and also speaks to the young man’s work ethic. King was also extremely aggressive and attentive on the offensive glass dunking back several missed shots using quick and well timed jumps as well as his superior length. He has all the makings of an elite big man prospect with an ultra-high ceiling.
The biggest area of needed improvement is definitely his lack of experience. While Fredrick has a natural feel for the game he would tend to go too fast looking to make something happen leading to turnovers on ill-advised passes or trying to do too much in congested areas on the floor. King also struggled with the more advanced situations when he got the ball on the block and his primary jump hook got contested or blocked. He will need to continue to learn how to use counter moves and fakes in combination to get his defender off balance so they can’t time up his shots. He also needs to work on how to defeat the double team by looking to pass the ball opposite or kicking it out to the perimeter and reposting. These are all things that he will learn as he has more time and gets comfortable on the court.
Overall King is DEFINITELY much more a player than a project even at this point in his development. His desire and work ethic to get better are apparent as he tries to follow in fellow countrymen Buddy Heild as the next Bahamian prospect to make it to the NBA. King said that Giannis Antetokounmpo is his inspiration as a player and who he models his game after. Well you can see the finger prints of The Greek Freak’s work ethic with how far King has come in a short time. I am excited to see his continued growth and I believe this young guy will be an impactful freshman next year at the University of Louisville. Coach Mack may have kept his hidden treasure away from prying eyes but next year he will put him on display for the whole college basketball world.
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Raashaan Myers is the long time Co-Host of the Main Event Sports Show and Anchor for the PGN News Network in Louisville. Member of the US Basketball Writers Association and former recruiting columnist for Insidetheville.com. Lover of all things UofL and basketball! Looking to bring truth to the masses. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Raashaan