Article published as courtesy of Varsity Sports Network, written by Derek Toney
Freddie King couldn’t wait for the day his daughter signed a college basketball scholarship.
“That’s all he used to talk about,” said Tyshell King. “I would say ‘come on be quiet.’”
Freddie King’s dream came true last Thursday morning as Tyshell, a senior at St. Frances Academy, signed a national letter of intent to play for Georgetown University.
But Freddie King wasn’t there to witness the most important day of his daughter’s life. Freddie King was gunned down in south Baltimore in September.
With his obituary a couple of inches away on a table, Tyshell finalized her commitment to the Big East Conference school. Next to her, Tevon Saddler signed his scholarship with North Carolina-Greensboro.
Saddler, a 6-foot-4 guard chose UNC-Greensboro over South Florida, Delaware, Towson, Cornell and Providence. Saddler admitted it was difficult turning down Delaware where brother Devon, a former standout at Aberdeen, is arguably the team’s best player.
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Freddie King knew his daughter’s basketball talents could pave the way for a better life, a life he didn't have.
“He taught how to be a young lady, he taught me about self-respect, he taught about basketball,” said Tyshell. “He was my best friend.”
Tyshell King gave a verbal commitment to Wake Forest last year, but a coaching change at the Atlantic Coast Conference program, as well as the lure of Georgetown, geographically and academically, led her to switch. King, a 5-foot-11 guard, is ranked No. 35 in the nation by ESPN/Hoops Gurlz.
Tyshell said her relationship with Georgetown’s first-year coach Keith Brown was a major factor in his decision. Brown was an assistant for five seasons before being promoted.
“He’s like another father figure, he kept it real with me, a lot of the other coaches tell you what you want to hear just to get you to come,” said Tyshell. “I just fell in love with Georgetown, the players, the campus and everything that comes with it.”
She was looking forward to her No. 1 fan watching her play. Panthers coach Jerome Shelton remembered a conversation he had with Freddie King before Tyshell’s freshman year.
“The promise was that she would attend a four-year prestigious university and that dream has been fulfilled,” said Shelton. “My heart is happy and I know someone’s heart, who isn’t here with us, is happy.”
With his obituary in her hands, Tyshell King told a packed audience inside St. Frances’ chapel the sacrifices her father made. It’s been a long and painful road, one Tyshell knows will lead to a promising future.
“I miss him so much,” said Tyshell. “I would give up everything just to tell him thank you.”