By LARRY VAUGHT
Sophomore Blair Green of Harlan County knew freshman Emma King of Lincoln County “a little bit” before King got to UK because they were in the same EYBL program but in different age groups.
“She is a ball of energy and fun to be around,” Green said.
King said Green was “like my big sister” when she got to UK in June.
“She kind of took me through the ropes. Now we just kind of hang out. I know that is somebody I can count on on the team — not that I can’t count on everybody else — but that is somebody is I have developed a close relationship with. We have a fun time together. We are pretty similar,” King said.
With the graduation of Maci Morris, Green and King will now be the players a lot of younger girls in Kentucky will aspire to be like just like they did Morris during her UK career.
“I don’t dread that. It’s humbling to think that people will want to be like you. That’s something to look forward to. But you have to also be cautious because you never know who is watching,” King said.
“That is a reason I try to live a life that I will not get myself in trouble because you never do know who is watching. You might as well just go ahead and do the right thing and that is something I try to do whether there are people watching or not.
“It’s a big pressure but it is good to be able to be somebody that someone else can look up to. Just for other people to think they want to be like them is a big enough compliment in itself for anyone, or should be.”
King, like Green, is a terrific outside shooter and has a work ethic similar to the UK sophomore.
“She is determined. She is always getting up extra shots. We learn from each other,” Green said. “We have been living in the gym lately and getting in there every chance we get. Get shots up, work on ball handling, play pickup.”
Green knows the autograph and picture requests that may fall more on her and King from in-state players with the departure of Morris.
“I love it. Just to know I am a role model to these kids keeps me going,” Green said. “It makes me want to be the best I can be and show them they can do the same. Having them come up to me, just makes me really happy and proud and I know Emma feels the same way. If anything, I think it motivates us to do even better.”