King bound for Germany

Taylor King is on the move again, and this time he's going overseas.

The former Mater Dei High School basketball standout has decided to skip his final year of college eligibility and play professionally in Germany, according to his last college coach, Ken Ammann of Concordia University.

"He got some good offers and so he decided to go travel," Ammann said. "It's a good opportunity for him. I heard he got a deal in Germany and there were still more on the table.

"I think he had to make a decision before school started and he decided to pursue that."

Ammann also said he believed that King would have had to earn some college units during the summer to remain academically eligible, but he didn't take those required classes.

King's travels have been widely reported and criticized. He made a verbal commitment to UCLA before he ever played a game in high school for Mater Dei. He never went to UCLA, instead accepting a scholarship to Duke.

King played one season at Duke before transferring to Villanova. After one year at Villanova, King transferred to Concordia in Irvine, picking the NAIA school over USC in part because he wouldn't have to sit out another season as required by NCAA rules. King had already sat out one season between his freshman year at Duke and his sophomore year at Villanova.

King, now 23, helped Concordia reach the quarterfinals of the NAIA national championship tournament last season and was named an NAIA first-team All-American.

The 6-foot-6 forward tied for the team lead averaging 14.8 points per game and led the team in rebounding averaging 6.4 per game.

"We knew when he came here it might be a one-year deal," Ammann said. "He had a great year here and did really well. There are pros and cons (to King leaving); we could have used him another year."

King's stay at Concordia ultimately will be just another blip in his career, like his brief stays at Duke and Villanova. He averaged 5.5 points and two rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game at Duke in 2007-08, and 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 19 minutes per game at Villanova in 2009-10.

King decided to leave Villanova for "personal reasons" amid rumors he violated team rules. He was going to go to USC, but that would have meant having to sit out another year.

So it came down to NAIA schools Concordia or Azusa Pacific University, where King would not have to sit out again.

"I got a call from (Mater Dei coach) Gary McKnight," said Ammann, who played for McKnight as a kid. "He told me that Taylor was leaving Villanova and that us (Concordia), APU and USC were his options. Going to USC fell through and he chose us. We were excited to have him. We thought it would be a good move for him, a small school with a family atmosphere."

Concordia had a stellar season, going 19-1 in the Golden State Athletic Conference and 32-4 overall, but lost in the quarterfinals of the NAIA national tournament.

In that game, Concordia's senior guard Justin Johnson, who just a few days later was named the NAIA player of the year, fouled out thanks to what many thought were questionable calls.

King had what might have been his worst game of the season, scoring just five points on 1-of-8 shooting in the 69-67 loss to Georgetown (Ky.)

Ammann said he expects to have a good team again this season despite losing both King and Johnson, not that he had expectations of King returning.

"We were just going to take it one year at a time and have a successful first year, which he did," Ammann said. "He was competing at a high level by the end of the year and got back in shape."

How long King stays in Germany is anybody's guess. In fact, King's father Steve wasn't willing to count on anything.

"I have no idea," Steve King said when asked about details of Taylor King's deal in Germany. "I haven't spoken with him about it. We haven't talked about what his plans are. I'm out of the loop."

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