Posted On: 01/19/19 7:05 PM
Shooters with size are always a premium at the college level, and Garrett Kingman certainly fit that profile. While the 6-foot-6 former Peninsula High School standout was grateful he was getting looks for that particular skill at the Division I level again this year at Tacoma CC, the swingman had some loftier goals. So when Hartford came calling with something that fit his vision for the future, it was something Kingman knew he had to commit to.
“I was going to wait until spring until the perfect situation arose,” Kingman said. “Hartford saw me down in Dallas at a Jamboree, and I didn’t think too much of at first as going out East wasn’t in my mind and I would have preferred to stay at home. But Coach (Matt) Mihalic, the assistant, came out here and I had a great talk with him and after talking with the head coach on the phone, I could tell there was something different about him.”
“I went out on my official visit there and I absolutely loved it,” he continued. “All the coaches have huge faith in me and just wanted me to be a part of the program. They want me to step in a be a leader and more than just as a basketball player. Coach (John) Gallagher wants me for my leadership and the quality of person that I am.”
The fit Kingman felt with the coaching staff, the players, and the overall program were definitely factors in his decision to commit – but also very important was the way he was going to be used on the basketball floor.
“The way they play is more positionless basketball,” Kingman said. “They see me playing one through four and one of the main things for me was to be a main scoring option. They’re losing a lot of seniors this year and he wants to, in his words, hand the car keys over. So that was a big part of the decision, being able to walk in and do what I can do right off the bat, but still have room for growth.”
The commitment to Hartford ended a recruitment that had gotten quite busy this fall. Cal Baptist, Drexel, and Pepperdine were also heavily involved, but the message he was getting from those programs was that he was mainly being recruited as a shooter. “I want to play after college so I know I will need to showcase other parts of my game,” Kingman said. “So I want to grow in those areas.”
After graduating from Peninsula, Kingman spent a year at Idaho before transferring to Tacoma CC this year. He’s got his return to Division I all set for next season, but there are still games to be played this year and Kingman – currently averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds – is ready to get things turned around.
“I’ve had a huge target on my back and I’ve been getting doubled and have a guy on me constantly,” Kingman said. “It’s been difficult to adjust but I’ve gotten through it. But we have a whole bunch of new talent that’s coming in and and I think we’ll catch fire here soon.”