Kingsley becomes a leader - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Kingsley becomes a leader

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By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Matt Kingsley never thought he'd be much of a basketball player.

"I was on JV my junior year (of high school) and I wasn't even thinking about varsity," said Kingsley.  "I wasn't even thinking about playing varsity. I thought those guys were gods."

Kingsley joined the gods of varsity his senior year of high school.  Danny Kaspar gave Kingsley a shot at division one hoops.  There weren't many.

"We were the only school in this area of the country to offer him a scholarship," said Kaspar.

Kingsley didn't seem to fit in.

"Every day, every practice was just unbelievable," said Kingsley.  "For me it was just terrible.  He (Kaspar) really pushed me to the limit and I hit rock bottom probably several times."

Kaspar was a bit frustrated.

"Quite frankly he was little protected or sheltered is the right word," said Kaspar.

Kingsley and his coach thought they may have made the wrong choice.

"It's been a trial," said Kaspar.  "There were times that Matt was trying us and didn't believe in himself and didn't push himself to the limits I thought he could."

Player and coach were wrong.

"He (Kaspar) really gave me everything I needed to bring out my potential," said Kingsley.

Kingsley says he stopped feeling sorry for himself.  Every Southland school became sorry to see him.

"A lot of it had to be just where he comes to believe in himself," said Kaspar.

Everyone in the Southland Conference believes.  Kinglsey leads the S.L.C.'s top team in scoring, rebounding and blocks.

"He's really progressed to the point where I think he can play beyond Stephen F. Austin," said Kaspar.

Pretty crazy for a guy who couldn't even crack his high school lineup.

"That's unbelievable," said Kingsley.  "But it's a possibility if I keep playing well."

Matt Kingsley is your Jack of the Week

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