Officiating: Embrace the process

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Set on a path to minister, lead, and guide others, Royce W. King, Sr., has emerged as one of the next in line, as a role model and inspiration to those around him. A man of many talents, his latest endeavor has not only been rewarding, but eye opening as the rising official shared his perspective on what it means to dawn the black and white stripes.

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King’s smile reflects ‘Embrace the process’ in Officials lifeCourtesy photo/MAJIICSHOTS

A long time lover of the game itself, King has been in and around basketball since his days as a youth. From playing, coaching, managing multiple fantasy leagues to podcasting his own fantasy sports show, and now officiating, Royce has experienced the game from just about every aspect. “I have always found joy in the game. To go out and work the game, to manage the game – takes courage,” King said. As a fearless individual, when it comes to officiating King is right at home in having the confidence to make those calls in the game.

“Nobody’s perfect, but you’ve gotta have the courage to make the call at that time, and then execute. Blow your whistle.”

“Aside from the game itself, the best part of officiating is your crew,” King said. “Your peers, your fellow officials, those are the people who you go to war with. They got your back.” Before each game crews typically hold a pregame conference to establish communication and primary areas of coverage. King likes to prepare himself by relaxing and visualization. “I typically like to arrive 90 minutes before game time and just relax, see the plays before getting ready to go.”

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Players and Officials wrap up their pregame conference before tip-off in the Lafayette Jefferson Boys Basketball Sectional Tournament. Courtesy photo/ISC Sports Network

An NCAA Women’s Basketball Official, and newly selected Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Boys Tournament Official, Royce has steadily progressed in the world of officiating. He first began refereeing at the youth level back in 2013, before deciding to commit to officiating full-time. “Initially I wasn’t sure this was for me, but now it’s second nature. I’m happy to have arrived at my destiny and just play my part; be the best that I can be at it and help grow the game while helping kids fulfill their dreams and goals.”

Royce spent his rookie year as an official under the mentorship of Wayne Hobson, a veteran official who helped carry him and show him the ropes.

“Wayne took the time out to get to know me, talk the game, and just help me relax on the floor and remember that this is a game I’ve played before,” King said. “I had a good foundation starting out with guys like Wayne, my high school assignor Chris Shields, and Laschelle Hatcher who worked with me on my mechanics and showed me how to run 3-man.”

Now finishing up his fifth season, Royce has had a year full of excitement. “I call it my rise in five as a young official,” King chuckled. “This has been a personal best year in terms of the number of college conferences that I’ve worked,” he said. “I also received my first tournament selection as an IHSAA Boys Basketball Tournament official, which is a huge milestone.” Alongside fellow crew members Shawn Harmon and Andrew Bowes, King officiated in the Lafayette Jefferson Sectional 7 Tournament in Indiana’s Class 4A.

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Courtesy photo/ISC Sports Network

“I’m really thankful to have achieved such an accomplishment, and I’m grateful for my mentors and college assignors who saw my potential.”

With the regular season winding down, Royce likes to take time out to plan for his off-season and the next upcoming season. “I like to share my plans and schedule with my assignor because they are my partners when it comes to my development.” Peer feedback is also important when it comes to improvement.

King’s advice to up and coming officials looking to get their mind in game:

“If this [officiating] is what you want, go hard at it,” King said. “Do it with consistency and invest in your improvement.” King recommends registering as an official and attending camps to improve development. Officiating camps such as Patty Broderick’s Americas Best Officiating Camp, and Randy Fox’s All Collegiate Officiating Camp, are a great way to grow your network and elevate your game. “Once I made the investment to register with the NCAA I was able to access a variety of next level materials that played a huge role in my growth from year one to year two,” King stated. Royce has plans of attending Sally Bell’s Big Picture Officiating Camp this off-season as well as returning to Fox’s All Collegiate Officiating Camp

“Keep striving to get to the highest level that you can obtain. Embrace the process because everyone has a level that is theirs and when you arrive you’ll know.”

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Augustana College Hosts North Park Vikings

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Rock Island, Ill., — Viking pitted against Viking, Augustana College and North Park University women’s basketball teams will face off in a conference matchup Saturday evening in a test of wills.

The two CCIW teams tip-off at 5:00 PM CST, on Feb. 17 at the Roy J. Carver Center. Keith Lehrman, Rocky Jones, and Royce King will be the officiating crew.

Location: Carver Center, 639 38th St, Rock Island, IL 61201

The Vikings of North Park (9-14, 4-10 CCIW) close out their season on the road, with their final two games against opponents from the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). Coming off a tough, 60-58 loss to Elmhurst College on Wednesday, the Vikings had their senior night spoiled by the Bluejays. Looking to return the favor, North Park will visit Augustana on their senior night as teams make a late push for the post season. North Park is guided by Head Coach Amanda Crockett.

Led by Head Coach Mark Beinborn, Augustana (13-10, 6-8 CCIW) who defeated North Park back on Jan. 20, will look to pull out a victory Saturday, in the Carver Center. After falling to Millikin, 82-63 the Vikings play their final home game of the season before visiting CCIW opponent North Central.

Watch live here.

Follow Augustana and North Park on social media for updates.

Millikin University Hosts Wheaton College

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Decatur, Ill., — The Millikin University (MU) Big Blue women’s basketball team has a home conference game against the Wheaton College Thunder, Saturday, in NCAA Division III action.

Location: Griswold Center, 1184 W Main Street, Decatur, IL 62522

Saturday’s contest is set to tip at 5:00 PM CST, with Trevor Michels, Royce King, and Phil McCarty as your crew of officials.

The visiting Thunder of Wheaton College (14-4, 7-2 CCIW) have been on a roll winning eight straight games, including Wednesday’s road test over CCIW foe Augustana College. Wheaton cruised to a 79-57 victory behind forward Hannah Fraziers 27 point outing. Sitting in the #2 spot of The College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, Wheaton and Thunder Head Coach Kent Madsen, look to finish the regular season strong.

Millikin women’s basketball (5-12, 0-8 CCIW) looks to end their six-game drought this evening when they host the Thunder in the Griswold Center. The Big Blue fell to Carthage College, 74-51 on January 20, where senior Lauren Moses finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. The Big Blue are led by Millikin’s all-time winningest coach, Lori Kerans.

Watch this CCIW match-up live here. Be sure sure to follow Millikin and Wheaton on social media for updates.