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September 10, 2009

King gets 'chills of excitement' upon ASU pledge

Keala King, the No. 1 ranked prospect in California and No. 25 recruit overall in the national 2010 class, gave Arizona State coach Herb Sendek a verbal commitment during an in-home visit with the school Wednesday, ASUDevils.com has learned.

"I've been to a lot of schools on unofficial visits, like Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, UCLA -- just a lot of schools -- and nothing compared to the feeling I got with Arizona State," King said immediately following the decision. "When we were there for the unofficial visit a month ago it was really special to me but I wanted to not make too quick a decision.

"Today coach Sendek was able to talk to my mom and my coach and answer all of their questions and basically tells us everything else we needed to hear to make us feel like this was the right decision."

King said when he actually informed ASU's coaches of his decision to commit, a feeling came over him unlike any he'd ever experienced.

"When I was telling them I was kind of stuttering because I had the chills, but it was chills of excitement," King said. "Now I'm so happy, I got the decision behind me and I'm ready to go out and be a great teammate and a leader."

A versatile 6-foot-5 200 pound southpaw capable of playing point guard or on the wing, King was very heavily recruited, with scholarship offers self-reported from Arizona, Cal, Kentucky, Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford, among others.

The No. 8 point guard prospect in the class, King was impressed by Arizona State while on an unofficial visit to the school in early August.

It was during that trip King was shown video highlights of former ASU star James Harden -- also a 6-foot-5 left-handed guard from Southern California -- and how Sendek used Harden in the Sun Devil offense.

At the time, King described it as the most impressive aspect of the unofficial visit to the school and the thing that allowed him to believe ASU deserved to be a strong option.

"I was looking at James on the film and it's like a lot the stuff he can do I pretty much can too," King said following the trip. "He's a little stronger than me and maybe a littler more polished at some of the things but I see myself as Arizona State style player. It's a school and a system that I think I'd do well in and that made me feel really good."

Wednesday's visit, which took place at Mater Dei, in Santa Ana, Calif., where King has transferred to for his senior year, sealed the deal for the Sun Devils.

"ASU has been able to accomplish a lot of things and in the last few years they were an underdog coming up to take on the best teams and they've been doing that and I want to help them continue to do that so they can take their place as one of the best teams in the country," King said. "My mom asked them what my role would be and coach Sendek told her I'd have an immediate impact on everything they do and that he would try to build the team around me. That meant a lot to her."

With his mother and Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight giving their blessing, King told the Sun Devils he would be signing with them in November.

"We jumped up and started hugging each other," King said. "It was really exciting."

At Mater Dei, King will team with fellow Rivals100 recruits Tyler Lamb and Gary Franklin.

Lamb, a 6-foot-4 wing and the No. 41 prospect in the class, is committed to UCLA.

Franklin, a 6-foot-2 combo guard, is ranked No. 72 in the class. He is also considering the Sun Devils and will have an in-home with the program Thursday.

"I texted Gary and told him I was about to be a Sun Devil and he should think about it too," King said. "We'll see what he says."


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