MILWAUKEE— Freshman year at college is always a learning experience.
Marquette’s Jordan King’s first year has been full of lessons she’ll carry with her for the remainder of her life.
And just a few came on the basketball court.
King, a Hononegah graduate, recently took part in a peaceful protest on Marquette’s campus along with the rest of her team. The march was organized in the name of social injustice, and King said she was glad to participate.
“It was really powerful,” King said. “It was really cool to be a part of, especially since it was organized mostly by athletes on campus. We have a black student council that’s been very active on campus, and as athlete, we wanted to use our platform also. Some members of the men’s team and our team got together along with our advisors at the University all worked together to put it together. We did a lap around campus, and it was open to other students and people of Milwaukee. It was very cool to see how many people got involved.”
King said hearing stories from her teammates about their past experiences has been eye-opening.
“The biggest thing, as I look back at my freshman year, was that I’ve learned a lot about myself,” King said. “That all came with playing college basketball. Of course I learned a lot about myself as a player, but I’ve learned a lot more about myself as a person. That’s a testament to my teammates, coaches, and everyone associated with the basketball program. The way our team has come together through all things quarantine, and these last couple of months talking about social injustice and equality, it’s been amazing. Being around this group of girls and this coaching staff has made us all want to become the best versions of ourselves.”
King’s freshman season ended on both a high note and a low note. The Golden Eagles finished the regular season with a victory over nationally ranked DePaul and advanced to the Big East Tournament finals, assuring them of a solid seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Enter COVID-19. Exit any tournament hopes, as the NCAA stepped in and canceled all postseason play.
“It was a great season overall,” King said. “Just looking at the way the team came together and all adjusted to new roles, regardless of your place on the team, from the freshmen to the seniors. The way we were able to come together and finish the season the way we did, it was just so enjoyable to see the seniors go out playing like that. Obviously we were disappointed when the tournament was canceled, because we had really played ourselves into a good seed. But it also just makes me even more excited to see what we can do this year.”
She finished the season averaging 8.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest, all while assuming the role of point guard, an unfamiliar position to King throughout her AAU and prep career.
“Every freshman has those difficult moments you have to go through,” King said. “You have to go through hard times to get to the good times, and there’s always a struggle to adapt to the pace of the college level. We had a big freshman class, and we all handled it in different ways. Playing a different position was a challenge, but what really helped me was my teammates and coaches believed in you. When you have the confidence of everyone around you, you can do anything.”
King said she’s looking forward to the upcoming season, even as uncertainty looms above everything.
“I think we’ve got something really special,” King said. “If you go back to last year and how things ended, when we didn’t even know the next time we’d be able to get together as a team, we’ve just gotten so much closer as a team. We’ve added four freshmen, and they are going to be huge for us. I’m excited to get back on the court as a team and keep the momentum that we had from last year going.”