Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hampton secures another verbal commitment

Big talent, small package.

That's the scouting report on Sade King, the pocket-sized point guard from Mount Vernon High in New York who recently declared her intent to sign with Hampton.

How pocket-sized? Depends on your source. This roster from the recent Metro Classic lists King at a charitable 5-4. Sade's mother, Tonya Wheeler, says her daughter insists she's 5-2.

"Yeah, in heels," King's high school Patrice Wallace-Moore said with a laugh.

Another story has King at an even 5-0, and we get the sense that's probably dead-on. But so what? No one's asking her to jump center. Hampton's obviously focused on what she can do with the ball in her hands. And in this area, King apparently has few peers in the Big Apple.

"She's going to keep the excitement going at Hampton," Wallace-Moore said. "They're going to get someone that absolutely loves the game. A quiet assassin. And when she's done, her name will be in the annals of Hampton history."

Wallace-Moore moved King onto her varsity team as a seventh-grader, made her a starter as a freshman and has watched her develop a clutch gene to go with her physical gifts.

"She handles pressure better than most, and that's probably because she's been under pressure since the seventh grade," Wallace-Moore said of King, who averaged about 10 points and 6 assists for a loaded Mount Vernon squad last season.

Sounds good. But what kind of young woman is Hampton getting? King's mother filled us in on the following:

Nickname: "Sha-deezy," among others.

Favorite team: Miami Heat (Really, Sade? Really?)

Fashion sense: High. "She definitely likes to dress in the most stylish things," Wheeler said.

Wheeler also described her daughter as quiet and laid back. Wallace-Moore concurred, although she said she will ask King to be more of a vocal leader this season.

"She likes to lead by example, so becoming more verbal is definitely a growth area for her," the coach said. "But she's a smart player, and I know this is something she can handle."

Oh, and one more thing: Sade King was indeed named after the original "Smooth Operator," Grammy Award-winning vocalist Sade.

King has a sister named Mariah, so that must mean....

"No, she's not named after "that" Mariah," Wheeler said. "Her dad picked that name."

King boosts Hampton's verbal commitment total to three, along with guard Blake Jenkines of Tennessee and guard/forward Ryan Jordan of Stonewall Jackson High. Recruits can sign binding letters-of-intent next week during the early signing period which runs from Nov. 9-16.

Click here to see the verbal commitments from all of the state's Division I teams.

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