Luke Graham.

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Luke Graham.

Luke Graham: A queen among Kings

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Luke Graham

Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Luke here.

— It's hard not to like Colleen King's game.

I witnessed it first hand last fall while covering volleyball. As a setter, she had everyone fooled - including me.

She set up for a set and instead unleashed a rocket over the net just inside the line that, by the grace of God, didn't break my nose.

The other team didn't see it either.

It was just a point, but it was then that I knew King was Division I bound.

But it shouldn't be a surprise that King will play for the University of Denver. Besides her God-given athletic ability, King comes from a pretty darn good family.

Sure, it helps she's 6-foot-1 and agile, but knowing and watching her interact with her family might be the best indicator of her past and future successes.

By no means do I know the Kings well, but from everything I've heard, it's a family that does things the right way.

Certainly the lineage helps. Colleen's father, Buddy, played quarterback in college. Her two older sisters, Tara and Shannon, were both outstanding athletes in high school, and they may have been the biggest influences on Colleen.

Tara has been quite the setter herself. The 2006 Steamboat Springs High School graduate just finished her redshirt sophomore year at Mesa State College in Grand Junction where she was among the leaders in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in assists.

Shannon was very affective in high school, playing basketball and volleyball.

Parents Buddy and Joanie also drove Colleen down to Fort Collins at least twice a week in the spring to allow her to play on a highly competitive club volleyball team.

Colleen admits that her family has played a big role in not only her athletic development but also her maturation as a person.

It's easy nowadays to see the me-first player, even at the high school level. The one with a head too big, an ego too large and often a game too small.

But Colleen doesn't fit any of those. She learned that from her family. She learned that to compete at any level, it takes more than one good player.

Steamboat coach Wendy Hall called Colleen part of the 1 percent group. Certainly some of that had to do with her physical abilities, but Hall said Colleen's presence on the court and as a teammate makes each player around her better.

Can there be anything better said about an athlete?

So while Colleen still has her senior year left for people to enjoy, her graduation won't bring an end to the King dynasty.

Younger brothers Brody and McKenyon still have four years of high school - something that already has several high school coaches smiling.

And judging by the family tree, Brody and McKenyon will not only be phenomenal athletes, but two athletes who will do things the right way.

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