ROCKTON - A Saturday afternoon lunch concluded a nearly two-year process for Jordan King and her school of choice. It also was the true beginning of a new relationship.
King, one of the best players in the tradition-rich history of the Hononegah girls basketball program, gave her commitment to Marquette University at the home of Golden Eagles head coach Carolyn Kieger, located less than a mile from the school's campus.
Thus ended the process that began in earnest when she as a freshman. King was also heavily recruited by Iowa and Wisconsin, along with receiving several scholarship offers from schools on the east coast.
"I'm so excited about this decision and I'm so happy to get this chance," King said. "There's also some relief that this process is over and all of the hard work has paid off, all those long days at the gym were worth it."
King, the two-time NIC-10 MVP , joins a Marquette program that has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in two straight seasons under Kieger, who completed her fourth year at the school.
Prior to Kieger's arrival, the program had qualified for the tourney just twice in the previous 10 years.
King said the relationship she built with the coaching staff was a key factor in her decision.
"I really connected with the coaches," King said. "It just felt special to me. Every time I've been up there for a visit or for a game, whatever it is, it's just a great atmosphere. That really helped me make the decision."
Before King gave the good news to Marquette, she had to give some bad news to her other suitors.
"Those were really hard phone calls to make, but I didn't just want to send them a text," King said. "The right thing to do was to give them a call and let them know. I really got to know those coaches, and even some players on their teams, throughout this process, and it wasn't easy to tell them I wasn't going to come there."
Hononegah head coach Randy Weibel is certainly familiar with Marquette. Weibel's daughter Courtney played for the Golden Eagles after a tremendous prep career. King said neither Weibel nor her parents tried to push any agendas on her.
"He was always there to answer whatever questions I had, but he never talked a lot about Courtney and her experience there," King said. "Everyone around me was really great about letting me make my own choice."
While King has a bright future to look forward to, and the peace of mind of the biggest decision of her life thus far happily made, she's also ready to leave her high school career with a bang.
King has a shot at being the NIC-10's all-time leading scorer. She begins the season with 1.708 career points, leaving her 422 behind current leader Brea Edwards. At this point, King is more concerned with getting her squad one step closer to a berth in the IHSA state tournament.
King will return along with fellow seniors Cali Schmitz, Marissa Kershner and Hannah Malcomson to give the Indians a talented, experienced lineup.
"We lost in the sectionals last year and we'd like to get past that," King said. "We are going to have some seniors that have a lot of experience, and it's going to be up to us to help the younger players along to reach that goal."