Wisconsin secured its first commitment of the 2017 recruiting class last week in four-star shooting guard Kobe King. The 247Sports Composite ranks the La Crosse native as the No. 1 player from Wisconsin, No. 16 shooting guard, and No. 78 player overall in the nation for the class of 2017.
Badger fans were starting to wonder if their recent recruiting dry spell was a sign of things to come because of Bo Ryan's public retirement speculation, but King will quiet that noise for a bit. Ryan currently has no recruits in the 2016 class either for that matter, but that's not a huge concern right now as the only senior on the 2015-16 squad is walk on Jordan Smith. Of course Nigel Hayes could decide to bolt for the NBA draft at season's end as well. They have one scholarship spot remaining for 2016 and three more for 2017.
At 6'3" and 175 pounds, King has explosive athletic ability, a soft jump shot, and he's a very good ball handler. He also has has a calm, under control demeanor about his game, all of which will translate well to the next level. King held 10 offers from the likes of Iowa State, Marquette, Creighton, and Northern Iowa among others.
According to his high school coach Todd Fergot, King came to the team as a freshman at Central High School with the ability to shoot the three and has steadily improved and added to his game. He became a much more balanced all-around player as a sophomore and developed the ability to drive and finish.
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His father, Chris, played for Wake Forest and in the NBA. Many think the younger King has NBA potential as well, but only time will tell as he enters his junior season in high school. His stock rose rapidly in the spring and summer months due to some great play on the AAU circuit.
King is from the state of Wisconsin, and his commitment to the Badgers is a message to other recruits. It says that even though Bo Ryan may end up retiring sooner rather than later, this school will still be a national power in basketball. It's the place where kids from Wisconsin grow up dreaming to play and nothing's going to change about that. King has known for a while that he wanted to be a Badger. He watched rising junior and fellow La Crosse native Bronson Koenig develop his game in Madison and the two have been in contact. His AAU team, the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, has produced other top Wisconsin players such as Koenig and Sam Dekker.
King took a visit to Madison himself as a freshman. The tradition and the comfort he has with the school were the biggest factors that swayed him and he's confident that the team will be set on the right path regardless of who will be on the coaching staff when he gets there.