UMW's Riley King enjoying his return to basketball - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

UMW's Riley King enjoying his return to basketball

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After signing to play college basketball at Carroll College, former Missoula Sentinel three sport athlete Riley King got the call he always dreamed of. The Kansas City Royals picked the lefty in the 24th round of the 2013 draft, putting his college hoops career on hold.

"Just kind of a dream I had to chase," said King." I think every kid, when you have the chance to go professional in one sport, you're going to take that opportunity, so I was fortunate enough to do that. That came to an end last spring, I was released by the Royals."

As part of his deal with the Royals, King's education would be paid for whenever he decided to return to school. So, when the Royals released King in the spring of 2016, he did some soul searching and decided to get his degree, and play basketball, at Montana Western.

"For me, I know how important finishing school is and how important a college degree is, and I knew I had to take advantage of that with it being paid for," King said. "I figured, why not play a sport for another three years while I can?"

King said he loved his time with the Royals, but he definitely missed playing basketball.

"You know, it's been hard. I didn't touch a basketball for three and a half years," said King. "Really, I didn't want to get hurt in the offseason for baseball, and we weren't supposed to be playing basketball in the first place. And I knew, if I did touch a basketball every once in a while, then I'd want to start playing again. So, I just tried to stay away from it."

Now that he's back on the hardwood, King is still trying to get his touch back.

"Three and a half years wasn't a positive thing for the basketball game, but I've been trying as hard as I can to get back into it," said King. "Luckily, we have a pretty talented team this year, and so it's been a pretty easy transition back."

When asked if he would do anything differently given the chance, his answer was simple.

"Interesting route, there's no doubt about that," King said. "But I wouldn't change it for anything. It's been a great experience."

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