FARMINGTON — Tyren King will continue his basketball career after the former Farmington High School standout signed a letter of intent to play for Little Priest Tribal College this morning at Scorpion Gym.
King said he made a connection with Little Priest’s new head coach, Elijah Starzl.
"The coach was very trustworthy and gave me an opportunity and a chance to play," King said. "He’s new to the program also, and he was looking for players, especially point guards. He saw some of my game and was really interested in me. He gave me a chance, and I just took it."
Little Priest competes in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference, which is part of Region 11 of the National Junior College Athletics Association. The Warriors finished last season 1-12. The campus is located in Winnebago, Neb., on the Winnebago Reservation.
King said he believes the style of play Starzl wants to implement will bring out the best in him. The Warriors will run a fast-paced offense that King said is similar to the style he plays with as part of the AZ Warriors, his travel team that won the gold division at the Native American Basketball Invitational on July 2 in Phoenix.
King, originally from Tempe, Ariz., joined the Scorps prior to his junior year and had to work to find his role with the Scorps. That transition will be similar to what he’ll go through at Little Priest, and FHS head coach Paul Corley expects King to handle the move gracefully.
"Tyren is such a coachable and humble young man. I think the transition will go smooth for him," Corley said. "He came from (Tempe) and adjusted well to us. He stepped right in and filled the role he needed to, and I expect that’s what he’ll do when he gets to Nebraska."
King said the brotherhood and work ethic the Scorps shared will be a key component of his mindset when he joins the Warriors.
Although often a quiet leader for the Scorps, Corley said King, along with fellow recent graduate Berrett Bentley, were the team’s coaches on the floor, and King’s leadership won’t be easy to replace.
"Tyren really developed into a solid, all-around player on both ends of the court. He came here two years ago and was kind of a quiet leader, and he still is, but we’re really going to miss him a lot — his leadership and his skill set and his knowledge of the game," Corley said.
King plans to major in indigenous and environmental sciences at Priest River and switch to environmental engineering when he transfers after his two years of eligibility are up.
"I want to help the planet as much as I can," he said. "The planet is all we have, and I want to put my ideas and my brain into trying to protect the Earth."
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.