Peninsula High School 2016 graduate Garrett Kingman is headed to the University of Idaho to continue his basketball and academic career.
Kingman, who graduated from high school as a 16-year-old, took a gap year after high school to work on his game and take college courses. He played basketball for Elite Prep Academy in Issaquah over the past year to bolster his basketball ability and continue to mature on and off the court.
“I learned how to take over a game in different ways,” Kingman said. “I think the biggest thing for me was learning how to score against college players.”
In one game, Kingman scored 32 points without making a single 3-pointer.
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“I found other ways to get it done,” Kingman said. “Just learning how to score in different ways with better competition.”
His increased skillset led to more college interest. About two weeks ago, Idaho officially offered Kingman a scholarship.
“From there, I felt like God really opened up the door,” Kingman said. “Other doors closed. I feel really comfortable with the decision.”
Kingman, a 6-foot-6 forward, played alongside current Oregon State guard JaQuori McLaughlin during one of the school’s most successful basketball seasons ever. Now, he’ll be representing Peninsula at the Division-I level in the Big Sky Conference with the Vandals.
“The coaches really wanted me,” Kingman said. “That was big for me, to have a coaching staff like that.”
Kingman was also seriously considering Drexel University in Philadelphia, but ultimately opted to stay closer to home.
“It’s also nice with my parents, all the people that watched me in high school will be able to watch me once in a while,” Kingman said. “It’ll be a lot nicer staying (out) west.”
The Idaho coaching staff was intrigued by Kingman’s size and shooting ability. Currently, the Vandals don’t plan to redshirt Kingman, he said.
“They need a shooter,” Kingman said. “I’ll probably come off the bench at first. If I play well and score, maybe I could find myself starting. They want to get back to playing a quicker pace. They think I can help with my ability to score.”
Kingman plans to study business at Idaho.
“I like the school,” he said. “The campus is really nice. I like how it’s so close and compact. Just having those friends through my faith, that’s nice with them in the area. There are a lot of people I know through our church.”
Kingman said he’s excited to represent Peninsula and Purdy.
“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “I think a lot of people didn’t really know that I’d grow to the player that I am now, and hopefully will become. So a lot of people are really happy for me. It’s pretty cool.”