BY JACOB TROXELL
On August 17, 2013 many Salisbury University students and staff members lost a great friend in Troy Daniel King. King was 21 years old.
Troy King was a transfer student from the University of Tennessee Martin and started attending SU last fall after playing basketball for two years at UT Martin. King became a part of the varsity basketball team at SU upon his transfer, and immediately began to inspire the community.
“He was loved by his teammates and a number of them were at his viewing,” SU basketball coach Joshua Merkel said. “A number of his teammates and his coach from UT Martin also flew up to attend.”
Also in attendance were his high school coach and grade school basketball coach.
“He had a happy personality, and left his basketball scholarship and his school at UT Martin to be closer to his daughter Khloe,” Merkel said. “He was friends with everyone on our team.”
Many students not on the varsity basketball team who knew King from just playing pick-up basketball also attested to his character on and off the court.
“He was a funny guy, a great athlete, and a caring dad. He really adored his daughter. Just a class guy in my book, always went out of his way to dap me up when he saw me,” said friend and SU junior Jean-Luc Hirabayashi, who often played basketball with King in the gym. “He’ll be sorely missed by everyone. RIP. Gone much too soon.”
Sophomore Samantha Lebowitz said King would ensure she was on the court whenever he saw her at the gym.
“He would make sure I was on a team and included me when I wanted to play basketball, even if it was just guys at the gym. He would put me on his team or get me in the next game if some guys didn’t want a girl on their team.”
Despite his love for basketball, his love for his daughter was much greater. By leaving UT Martin to be closer to her, he expressed that his daughter Khloe, who is now two years old, was more important in his life.
While King did express his love for basketball, the court was not the only place he affected people so positively.
Education professor Maida Finch had Troy as a student in her Education 210 class last fall here at SU, which was King’s first semester here.
“I reread some of Troy’s work from my class,” said Finch. “Troy described his aspiration to become a physical education teacher and coach by saying ‘My goal is to inspire students to push past their perceived limitations. I want high school students to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle through exercise and proper nutrition.’”
Finch also said “Ultimately he hoped to become a principal or assistant principal to help them ‘learn how to make the right decisions in school and in their life in the future.’”
“What I remember about Troy is his positive attitude, great smile, and passion for sports,” Finch said. “He often spoke about his daughter, Khloe, and his devotion to her. He was determined to succeed in college because he recognized how important it was for his future.”
Troy Daniel King was the son of Vernon D. King III and Jeanette Monday King, and also had two brothers, Vernon D. King IV and Kyle A. King.
Donations are being accepted for Troy King’s daughter Khloe’s education fund. Donations to the Khloe King Trust Fund can be made at P.O. Box 416 Damascus, MD 20872.
“Troy was able to touch a lot of people in the community,” said coach Merkel. “He got along with everyone.”