Flushing star King accepts scholarship with Army

Flushing’s Andrew King verbally committed to Army last week. Photo by William Thomas
TimesLedger Newspapers

Disappointment quickly turned into elation for Andrew King.

Frustrated over his lack of Division I scholarships offers, Flushing’s star running back/outside linebacker took a visit to West Point, the one Division I school, to show sincere interest and forgot about his worries. He was offered a scholarship by Coach Rich Ellerson — his first and only offer — and accepted it last week.

“It’s a great tradition and I feel at home there,” the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Queens native said of Army, a Football Bowl Subdivision independent. “I toured the campus, they showed me the facilities and it was really nice. They have great academic support.”

King and Flushing Coach Jim DeSantis are still confused about the senior’s lack of offers. The New York Post All-Queens Player of the Year ran for 963 yards and 10 touchdowns and was the Red Devils’ top defensive player.

“I just wish there were more places to choose from,” the coach said of King, a three-year varsity standout. “I think he could have done better in terms of football, but in terms of overall, you can’t do better than where he is right now.”

King is excited about the opportunity to play Division I football and also about his life with the Army thereafter. Both King and DeSantis are thrilled with West Point.

“It will be an honor to serve my country,” he said of his five years of service following graduation. “It will be a reward. I’m looking forward to it.”

“I look at him and I see him in uniform and it’s been that way for a long time,” DeSantis added. “It’s phenomenal. I know his life is going to be set.”

King would like to explore his options in the military, though his family wants him to look into medicine or military intelligence. Either way, King does know what to expect somewhat as his uncle, Rhonny, is in the Air Force. His father, Michael, is also an NYPD lieutenant.

“He said the Army could really change your life and set you up for life,” King said, referring to his uncle. “They give you all the benefits you can ask for.”

DeSantis said Army coaches told him King could play for them right now. It is unclear where he will fit in, either at fullback or outside linebacker, but King will have the opportunity at both spots.

“It’s a weight off my shoulders,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about reaching out to all these coaches to get my name out there. Now I have a place to look forward to, a place I can be really excited about. I feel I was waiting too long for my talent and what I proved I can do, but I’m glad I got this offer and I’m going to make the best out of my opportunity.”

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