No ordinary player, student
Valencia native gets recognized for her service in community
Butler Eagle
Written by:
March 6, 2013
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Caroline King

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — She’s tallied 14.3 minutes, 2.6 points, 3.3 rebounds per game.

As a senior center on the Brown University women’s basketball team, Caroline King’s numbers appear ordinary.

In actuality, the Valencia resident is extraordinary.

“Caroline is a beautiful, charismatic person who gets things done,” Brown coach Jean Marie Burr said. “Every day she’s been here, she has shown what a student-athlete can get done.

“The way she goes through life should be expected of all of us.”

King was recently one of five Division I women’s basketball players selected to the inaugural Allstate WBCA Good Works Team, a team comprised of players recognized for their community service activities off the court.

Two years ago, she became the first sophomore in Brown history to win the university’s Bessie H. Rudd Award for enthusiasm, spirit and leadership.

King joins Blanche Anderson of Auburn, Whitney Hand of Oklahoma, Drey Mingo of Purdue and Gizelle Studevent of Penn State on the women’s Division I Good Works Team.

The selections came from 161 nominations. The women’s 10-member panel making the selections was headed by WNBA star Tamika Catchings.

During her collegiate career, Brown has been co-president and co-founder of Athlete Alliance, a support group for athletes at Brown. She created Hoops for Hope, a partnership between Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Ivy League that raises money for wishes for every point the team scores throughout the season.

“Our men’s hockey team was involved in a similar program, called Goals For Good, and I thought it would work for us,” King said. “Each girl on the team finds two sponsors to donate a dime each for each point we score.

“Penn and Cornell joined us for this and we raised $3,000 for Make-A-Wish. Next year, hopefully all of the Ivy League schools will take part.”

Burr called King “one of the most focused individuals I’ve ever been around.”

“She knows how to get people to listen to her ideas and once she gets an idea, she sees it through,” Rudd said.

King also works with Nyaya Health, helping to develop a surgical program for people in Western Nepal who live in poverty. A community health major, she carries a 3.7 grade point average and is scheduled to graduate in May.

King plans on doing postgraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania before applying for medical school.

She also volunteers with Woonsocket Adopt-A-Family, Foxpoint Elementary School, Women’s Center of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Free Clinic.

“We help mentor and entertain kids whose parents are going through counseling or some type of rehabilitation,” King said. “I teach a second grade class at the grade school every Thursday for two hours, sort of serve as a role model.

“Basketball, my studies and volunteer work are important to me, so I carve out time for each.”

King said she developed her thirst for volunteerism through her family and high school education. She is an Oakland Catholic graduate and was a first team all-section player there.

“My family has always emphasized the importance of giving back and volunteerism is big at Oakland Catholic,” she said.

On the court, Brown dealt with back and shoulder injuries, along with a concussion. She had rotator cuff surgery midway through her collegiate career.

“She is fearless, team-oriented and resilient,” Burr said. “Caroline became a starter and team captain here despite all of those physical problems.”

The Bears take a 9-17 overall record — 3-11 in Ivy League play — into this weekend’s regular season finales at Penn and Princeton.

Regardless of the won-loss record. King wouldn’t trade away a minute of her experiences with Brown basketball.

“It’s all about being part of a team,” she said. “I live with seven teammates in a house right across the street from the gym. It’s time I’ll cherish forever.”