Jalen King is heading into his junior season with the Eastern Michigan basketball program. King is a 6-foot-10-inch power forward/center from Kings Academy in Pasco, Washington.
With fresh faces on the EMU men’s basketball team following the graduation of James Thompson IV, Paul Jackson and Elijah Minnie, King is poised to make an impact after a strong offseason.
“Jalen King has had a great summer,” said head coach Rob Murphy. “He’ll get a lot more playing time."
King averaged 0.8 rebounds per game in 4.5 minutes per game during the 20 games he participated in his freshman season. He also had nine blocks and four steals.
"He has had a lot of improvements offensively. He’s gotten bigger and stronger, and he’s always been quick. Going into year three, the natural maturation as things have slowed down for him, and he’s continued to get better,“ Murphy said. "He’s been here for two years, and he’s just continued to get better and better. I think our center position will be solidified.”
King averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks per game as a high school senior. He shot 72.7% from the field on 8-11 shots from the floor over the span of the 19 games he participated in last season.
“We’re doing it by committee right now but I know I can depend on Boubacar [Toure] and Jalen King to hold down our defense,” Murphy said. “We should be pretty good anchoring the zone from the inside out.
"Our four returning players have been really beneficial for us. I think our defense will be a lot better, especially because it’s a new system to most of the players, so they’ve bought in. We’ll have bigger guards, some athletic forwards and two centers: Boubacar and Jalen King.”
King was named a National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American last year. He was one of four Eagles athletes to be named a National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American along with swimmer Delaney Duncan, baseball player Zachary Owings and soccer player Kristin Hullibarger.
King also had a career-high four rebounds versus No. 1 Duke.