8A - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 S
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
As decisions loom, a
Senior Evan King decided not to turn professional out of high school, on the advice of former Wolverine MaliVai Washington.
Pros in sight for King
atr four-year wait
By EVERETT COOK
Daily Sports Editor
Sophomore point guard Trey
Burke and five seniors are offi-
cially gone. There could be as
many as three other departures
from the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team over the next two
weeks, depending on if junior
guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and
freshmen forwards Glenn Rob-
inson III and Mitch McGary
decide to forego eligibility and
enter the NBA Draft. The Michi-
gan basketball team could go
from a Top-25 preseason pick to
an unknown fate depending on
what the three decide.
But on Tuesday, at the end-
of-the-season banquet, it was all
smiles for Michigan.
For the second straight year,
Burke won the team MVP award,
becoming the 23rd Wolverine to
earn multiple team MVP awards.
The only surprise award from
the night was the Rudy Tomja-
novich Most Improved Player
Award,which went to Hardaway.
He was the team's second-lead-
ing scorer last year as well as this
year, but improved on his 3-point
percentage by more than nine
percentage points in addition to
slightly improving this field-goal
Here are the other awards
given out on Tuesday night:
-Wayman Britt Outstand-
ing Defensive Player Award:
redshirt junior forward Jordan
*Steve Grote Hustle Award:
*Thad Garner Leadership
Award: senior guard Corey Per-
-Travis Conlan Sportsman-
ship Award: redshirt sophomore
-Bodnar Award for Academic
Achievement: senior guard Matt
-Gary Grant Award for Most
*Loy Vaught Rebounding
-Outstanding Free Throw
Shooting: freshman guard Nik
-Sixth Man Award: McGary
-Iron Man Award: Robinson
-Most Generous Teammate:
Four of the Michigan basketball team's freshmen show off their hardware.
By JASON RUBINSTEIN
Daily Sports Writer
Last April, senior Evan King
hit a booming serve wide against
then-fourth-ranked Dennis Nevolo
of Illinois. After a big backhand
return, followed by a nine-stroke
rally, King watched as Nevolo's
desperation lob bounced just
beyond the baseline.
He'd done it;he'd just beat Nevo-
lo. This was instrumental, as King
had neither defeated Illinois, nor
Nevolo. Secondsalater, King's whole
team surrounded him, jumping
with joy. There are moments in
every athlete's life that justify all
the sacrifices he or she makes - for
King,this was it.
Now, it's King's turn to hit the
professional circuit. As soon as his
Michigan career ends, King will
immediately start his pro career.
Growing up, King was widely
regarded as one of the future stars
of American tennis. King was
always a favorite in junior grand-
slam tournaments. Just as often,
For Ran, though, the choice
At age 17 or 18, junior tennis
players, especially those with
King's pedigree, are faced with a
tough decision - collegiate tennis
vs. professional tennis. And often
times, the promise of tournament
titles and prize money trumps
years of toiling in the trenches.
This was a surprisingly simple
decision for King. Although lots of
King's childhood friends, whom
he met through tennis, were going
pro, King knew he had to attend
"It was a simple decision," King
said. "I was never turning pro right
out of high school. My parents
always stressed a college educa-
tion, so it wasn't on the table, even
if had the ability to do so."
King's parents, Van and Evelyn,
knew that college was a no-brainer
and would be instrumental in his
tennis career, despite riskinga slow
start on the professional circuit. A
Michigan education was too great
of an opportunity.
"I went to Michigan," Van said.
"Iknow when I came out and start-
"ed working, I had seen the best of
the best, and was prepared. And
.I knew it would be the same with
King also received advice
from former Wolverine MaliVai
'Mal" Washington, whom King
* has known since he was 10. For-
merly a finalist at Wimbledon and
11th-ranked player in the world,
-Washington shared his experi-
ences at Michigan with King. Mal,
:too, turned down the professional
-circuit at age 18 in order to attend
He told King that this would be
the smartest and best decision he
ever made. Washington has held
his own against the likes of Grand
Slam champions Pete Sampras,
Andre Agassi and Jim Courier.
King knew if aplayer of this caliber
could be successful after attending
college, so could he.
senior guard Josh Bartelstein
-Best Dressed: Robinson
-First Player to Marry:
-Most Likely to Succeed:
-Florence Nightengale Award
(most time spent in training
-No. 1 NBA Talker who
doesn't know what he's talking
-Best Dressed Assistant:
-Dunk of the year: Hard-
away's Tomahawk in the final
game of the NCAA Tournament
The scene inside the Crisler
Center for the banquet reflect-
ed the good vibes surround-
ing a team that had reached the
National Championship game
for the first time since 1993.
Before the ceremony, an auto-
graph line stretched for more
than half of the concourse. Six
years ago, when Michigan coach
John Beilein first took over the
program, the autograph line
wouldn't have lasted more than
"The first banquet, we had
about five tables," Beilein said.
"It's come a long way, and it's
come from a lot of great people."
The positive feelings have
been going all week. Last week,
Beilein and Burke flew to Los
Angeles, where Burke accepted
the John R. Wooden award-given
to the nation's top player. In
Los Angeles, they were stopped
"many, many times" according
to Beilein. Everyone wanted a
picture orto congratulate Burke
on a year that saw him win every
major individual award.
Six years ago, Beilein and the
program didn't have a player
anywhere near Burke's caliber.
Six years ago, the entire floor of
the Crisler Center wouldn't have
been sold out for a banquet. Six
years ago, the patrons inside
Crisler wouldn't have given
Beilein a standing ovation or
treated him like a celebrity.
There was a man standing by
the entrance to the floor, and
when Beilein walked by, he said,
"Thank you coach. Thank you,
With or without Burke, it's a
different era for: the Michigan
NOTE: Beilein said that
because of travel, he hasn't had a
chance to sit down with McGary,
Robinson or Hardaway to talk
about their NBA decisions, but
he did have each assistant coach
sit down with the players. The
trio has until April 28 to make
COURTESY OF VAN KING
King has become one of the most decorated players in Michigan tennis history.
King had one of the most pol- to work on my one or two shots to
ished resumes an entering fresh- become huge. I'm going to work
man can have. But despite King's on my serve to get free points and
junior success, Michigan coach make that a weapon and I'm look-
Bruce Berque knew he could ing to end points on my forehand
improve King's game through dis- because that's the side I can hit big-
cipline, hard work and condition- ger on and do more with."
ing. King will enter the professional
"One of the main reasons Evan circuit playing both singles and
came to Michigan was because of doubles (he'll pair up with 2011
the success of Bruce Berque," Van Michigan graduate Jason Jung).
said. "Bruce understood the work King and Jung have already won
ethic to get to the top. He has done a futures tournament together
a great job preparing of Evan for and will look to benefit from their
the grind and has done a tremen- chemistry that formed at Michi-
"Evanhas won180-some match- But Jason and King's schedules
es at Michigan, while many of his will not always be compatible,
friends who went pro at 17 are los- meaning King will likely have to
ing every week. You aren't learning shuffle between partners. That
as much from losing matches are shouldn't be a problem because,
you are from winning or having with his international experience,
the responsibility of the team on there will always be a partner wait-
your shoulders. He is much more ing for him. King has even teamed
mature from coming to Michigan." up with ex-rival and longtime
And as King nears graduation, friend Nevolo for certain tourna-
it's clear Berque knew how to han- ments.
die him. Under Berque's tutelage, King has clear goals for his
Kingbecame Michigan's most dec- career, but they will be hard
orated tennis player. because of the difficulty of the pro
But the professional circuit can tour. Evan plans to play futures as
be grueling. It's complicated in soon as NCAA's end, with hopes of
structure, and it's certain King will entering the US Open qualifier.
have to improve despite his over- King hopes to reach a top-75
whelmingsuccess at Michigan. rankingwithinthreeyearsofgrad-
"He is good at everything," Ber- uation - a goalthat is reachable if
que said. "A lot of college players the right amount of work is put in.
have particular strengths like a King has etched himself into
great forehand or serve, but have Michigan tennis history, but his
obvious holes in their game that legacy, he hopes, will not end here.
can be exploited. He has no true "I couldn't be more proud of
weakness. But moving forward, how Evan has matured himself
to have success at the pro level, at Michigan, but also what he has
he needs to develop more obvi- left behind," Van said. "I went to
ous strengths and more impactful Michigan and the legacy he is leav-
weapons." ing at Michigan is being one of the
King responded: "Coach nailed most successful players in program
it right on the head. I'm consis- history. To me it's huge, and I could
tent, I'm quick, I don't really break not be prouder.
down and I'm not uncomfortable "Ihave no doubt he will succeed.
in any situation. ButI still do need There are no signs that he can't."
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