Tim Duncan was one of the basketball greats who won five championships. He lives on an island in St Croix in the Virgin Islands. A big kid but nobody can find him he is under the radar in college basketball recruiters until the summer of 1992.
An agent put together a team with Chris King who played college basketball in Wake Forest. The tournament is for goodwill your address the violence in the Virgin Islands. The games will between the U.S. select players and the locals who played ball on the island.
” They had a lot of talent on that island and they put their own local team, said King. But these guys are too raw, we just did it to stay in shape and just to have fun on that island.”
That’s why they convinced Alonzo Mourning to have fun with them. He was an NBA Star at that time. Chris King will not forget that moment as he recalled.
” We were just getting ready to have fun with that exhibition game that night. And here we go the kid who is 6’8″ or 6’9″, long and skinny comes out of the crowd. People said it’s Tim Duncan the swimmer. And I said this kid isn’t as good in basketball if he spends his time swimming.”
Duncan started playing basketball after the Hurricane destroyed their training pool. He told his coaches that he is afraid of the shark in the ocean.
” Alonzo Mourning was a big name on that U.S. select team. When Tim Duncan already warmed up in the third quarter. Mourning and Duncan played the same positions. So they guarding each other, when Zoo coming across the middle with his little patented skyhook Tim Duncan blocks him, runs the floor and Alonzo’s trail him trying to block behind. And Duncan bangs all on top of him and the crowd started to scream. After the game, everybody surrounded that 16-year-old kid, not Alonzo Mourning.”
After Chris King witnessed Tim Duncan dunked on Zoo. King went to Wake Forest for a workout and Coach Dave Odom was there asking him.
” He asked me if the news was true that he went to Virgin Island. I answered yes and asked me if there is somebody to recruited to help the program. Then I answered I remembered somebody named Tim. He is good, had a great hand good footwork but a little too raw. So Coach Odom replied ” Ok I’ll take a look at it” and the rest is history.”
Tim Duncan went to Wake Forest University named first-team All American twice. He is the National Player of the Year in 1997.
Chris King and Tim Duncan became friends and get in touch. Played pick up games in Wake Forest.
Source: Bill Littlefield; www.wbur.org