Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Damascus native shining for Frederick’s St. John’s

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In the competitive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, St. John’s Catholic Prep forward Troy King has established himself as one of the league’s best players early this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior and Damascus native is averaging nearly 21 points per game to lead the Vikings (4-6 record), while also pulling down six boards a contest. And on Dec. 30, he nailed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to give his team to a 68-66 triumph over Middletown (Ohio) in the National Division fifth-place consolation game of the STOP-DWI Holiday Classic in Binghamton, N.Y.

‘‘Troy has had an absolutely outstanding season for us thus far,” said St. John’s head coach Silas Cheung. ‘‘In arguably one of the top-five conferences in the whole country, he’s really showing what he can do. He was more of a post player at Damascus and even last year for us, but he’s developed a beautiful outside shot and gained a lot of confidence.”

King scored 16 points in the win over Middletown, following a 28-point performance in the Vikings’ victory two days prior over Mt. St. Michaels (N.Y.), and was named to the National Division All-Star team.

After transferring from Damascus following his freshman season, he’s honed his skills with the Vikings and his AAU team, Fundamental Hoops. With his size, combined with an improved outside game, he hopes to be signed to a college scholarship by this time next year.

‘‘This year I’m just trying to get a lot better, and I really just want us to win as many games as we can,” said King. ‘‘My shot was always decent, but after freshman year, I realized that looking at the competition level I’m playing at, that I was going to have to make some changes and get it even better. So I just tried to improve it while trying to keep the same stuff I already had.”