Former University of Wisconsin goalie Kobe King finally returned to the hard court on Tuesday, coming off the bench to score 19 points for Valparaiso in a 101-58 win over East-West almost two years later his much-publicized departure from the Badgers.
King initially enlisted in Nebraska after leaving UW, but never played for the Cornhuskers, instead signing with an agent and participating in the 2021 NBA G League Draft. Although he decided to return in college, he needed a waiver from the NCAA, and Tuesday was his first opportunity to play.
King appeared in 10 games at UW in 2017-18, a year after being named Mr. State Basketball and leading La Crosse Central to a WIAA Division 2 state title. A knee injury cut short his freshman season at UW, and he played 34 games as a red shirt in 2018-19, largely off the bench. In 2019-20, he played 19 games and posted 10.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game before leaving.
Following: Kobe King details his frustrations with Badgers, Greg Gard at Madison newspaper
Valparaiso (5-5), located in northwest Indiana, has rarely recruited players from the state of Wisconsin since Bill Jenkins (not to mention his twin brother Bob) of Nicolet High School became a key player in one of the NCAA’s most famous plays. story in 1988, the winner of Bryce Drew’s game to defeat Mississippi.
But this year, the school has become a Wisconsin outpost. Former Badgers goalie Trevor Anderson, a Stevens Point high school alumnus and also a former Mr Basketball alumnus, is spending his final year of eligibility at Valpo, where he started all 10 games and averaged 10.9 points . Former Whitnall star Kevion Taylor, who is playing in his fifth year after transferring from Winona State, has also started 10 games and is averaging 9.5 points. Former UW reserve center Joe Hedstrom leaves Beacon Bank. Freshman Cam Palesse is from Waukesha West.
Last year’s squad included Jacob Ognacevic of Sheboygan Lutheran, who transferred after playing 28 games and averaging 6.3 points as a true freshman. He is now at Lipscomb.
East-West, located in Chicago, participates in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (independent of the NCAA) but plays in NCAA and NAIA competitions.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Former Wisconsin goalie Kobe King returns with Valparaiso basketball