Steamboat Springs High School junior Colleen King faces the task of transferring her athletic skills from the volleyball court to the basketball court. After being named the Western Slope League's most valuable player in volleyball, she is expected to emerge as a prime leader of the Sailors basketball team.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School junior Colleen King faces the task of transferring her athletic skills from the volleyball court to the basketball court. After being named the Western Slope League's most valuable player in volleyball, she is expected to emerge as a prime leader of the Sailors basketball team.

Steamboat's King transitions from volleyball to basketball

A split focus

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Steamboat Springs High School junior Colleen King already has established herself as one of the top volleyball players on the Western Slope.

Evidence is in her selection as the Western Slope League's most valuable player and placement on the Fort Collins 18's Black club volleyball team - one of the most competitive club teams in the state with four girls already possessing Division I scholarships.

But King, who also is a top student, is primed to take her dominance on the volleyball court to the basketball court.

The 6-foot King is expected to be a leader and prime scorer for the Sailors girls basketball team.

Steamboat girls basketball coach John Ameen said King possesses all the intangibles needed to dominate in basketball as much as she does in volleyball.

"She has the vertical, the upper body strength, and now she has the mentality," Ameen said. "She had it off and on last year. I expect her to have that all the time now. If she does that she will be dominant just like she was in volleyball."

King knows her athletic future is in volleyball, a fact made clear by the number of college coaches and scouts who attended Steamboat games in the fall. That's why she'll make several trips to Fort Collins during basketball season to play volleyball and continue to play on the club team here in Steamboat. Come spring, her full attention will be given to the 18's Black team.

Although the schedule can get hectic - "last year I got kind of run down," she said - King believes she's better prepared this year to excel in both sports.

Whereas last year, she was a good player, King has put in the work to become a great player. In addition to several high-level volleyball camps during the summer, King worked out three times a day.

"Her offseason work ethic was tremendous," Ameen said. "We talked about it in May and I told her, 'You can only control what you do. Are you doing everything in your power to become everything you want to be?' She's done that."

King says she's trying to keep everything in perspective because with a schedule like hers, she acknowledges it's important that she still likes what she's doing.

"Really, I just go play," she said. "With volleyball and college scouts, there is pressure and expectations. But they tell me when to come play, and I play. I still love it. It's a lot of fun. It can be hard at times, but I just have to remember, it's all for the love of the game. I do love it."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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