Unassuming at a glance, American-born Darren Andre-Morris King is a deceptively sensational fast-growing shooting guard, and one who is also known for his academic achievements.
King, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, on September 5, 2001, to parents Peta-Gay King and father Troy Morris, moved to Jamaica a month later.
The shy King, who has just one sibling, attended Christiana Academy, from where he attained a place at much sught-after Herbert Morrison Technical High (HMTHS).
Now a 19-year-old, King told the Western Mirror in a WhatsApp interview that he holds great aspirations of becoming a professional Basketball player, but was also quick to point out that he is the recent recipient of an overseas academic scholarship to become a Chemical Engineer.
In an interview with the Western Mirror, King, who already has four CAPE subjects, which include Biology and Physics, and is preparing to sit another four, inclusive of Chemistry and Caribbean Studies, revealed he has attained a fully funded scholarship at Florida State University.
He leaves the island on August 4 to take up his scholarship and says he has already made contact with the university’s basketball coach, indicating he will be interested in trying out for the school’s basketball team.
King, who sports the number 34 jersey for his team, says he absolutely loves the sport of basketball, but adds he has also dabbled in the long jump event and has represented Montego Bay Boys’ and Girls’ Club in both the Elite Basketball League and the Division One.
King, who said he was introduced to taking up the sport by his mother as she was afraid when he played football against bigger players, said he first played the sport at age 13.
The well-spoken teenager, when quizzed about the effects of COVID-19 on him, said it slowed him somewhat both in studies and trainings.
“There were no online classes for more advanced (higher grade) students, so we were left alone to complete our studies since March when schools closed. It set me back a bit as some topics that needed detailed explanations. I was forced to do on my own and that slowed the process,” he said.
Ques: What is your favourite dish?
Ans: Fried chicken
Ques: What is your absolute favourite colour?
Ans: Dark blue
Ques: Do you have a top movie or TV series show?
Ans: Yes, Avatar
Ques: Have you ever read a book you would deem your best so far?
Ans: A book titled ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’
Ques: Who would you say motivates you?
Ans: Jason Russell, my uncle. He always gives me solid advice and keeps me grounded and focused on trying to achieve my goals no matter how hard they may seem. He is someone I can always reach out to in any scenario.
Ques: Do you have a best friend?
Ans: Yes. That would have to be Robert Russell, we’ve been friends now for about 17 years. He resides in Canada, but he is originally from right here in Montego Bay.
Ques: How tall are you?
Ans: I’m currently 6’1”
Ques: Do you watch any other sport other than basketball?
Ans: Yes, I watch the Premier League and my team is the newly crowned champions, Liverpool.
Ques: Who is youir favourite player on the team?
Ans: Virgil Van Dyke , the top defender. I love his ability to read the game and anticipate danger.
Ques: Is there an international football team you support?
Ans: Not really I’ve not been drawn to any one team yet.
Ques: What team do you support in the NBA?
Ans: The Atlanta Hawks and my top player is Trae Young.
Ques: Do you have a memorable match to date?
Ans: That would have to be the 2019 Western Conference ISSA Schoolboys Basketball final between us, ‘Compre’, and York Castle. They were playing in the conference on technicality and they pushed us hard in the series, but we held out to claim the crown, retaining our title under sensational coach, Dave Black.
Ques: Who do you talk with about sports in general?
Ans: That would have to be my coach (Puey)
Ques: Who is the best teammate you’ve had since playing basketball?
Ans: David Gordon. He’s now in the USA on a scholarship. He just always has the ability to dominate.
Ques: What’s your most-used app on your phone?