The King of Henderson County has chosen to lead the NCAA tournament scorecard in Greenville

Wade King will have the top seat for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament when it comes to Greenville, SC in March.

The former Henderson County educator and coach has been invited by the Southern Conference to work on the scorecard when March Madness visits Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 18-20.

King has been helping manage the varsity basketball scorecards since 1987, when UNC Asheville hired him to lead a two-man squad for the Bulldogs’ home games at Justice Center. The former TC Roberson High School baseball player has been on center court ever since and is widely known as one of the nation’s top timekeepers.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be selected to participate in the NCAA tournament,” King said recently from his lavish home in Mountain Home. “I’m lucky they had an opening and Geoff Cabe thought of me and asked if I would be interested in working the tournament. It took me about two seconds to say yes.

Cabe is the longtime Senior Associate Commissioner of the Southern Conference. He runs the super-successful SoCon basketball tournaments in Asheville. This year, Furman and the Southern Conference are co-hosting the NCAA tournament in Greenville with Cabe as the tournament director.

“We will be using the Furman watch team in Greenville for the tournament,” Cabe said. “However, someone recently retired. The NCAA requires that people who work the clock at its tournaments have a lot of experience. The new person at Furman didn’t have the experience and I immediately thought of Wade. I’m glad he can help us this year.

King and Cabe have known each other since Cabe was a student at UNC Asheville. When the Southern Conference returned to Asheville in 2012, Cabe was looking for a new team of watchmakers to work at the then American Cell Center (now Harrah’s) for the tournament.

“We spoke to the folks at UNC Asheville and they highly recommended Wade and his team for our tournament and they have done a fantastic job for us over the past 10 years,” said Cabe. “When we first returned to Asheville, the Cellular Center dashboard was quite old and Wade and his team had to figure out how to use it pretty quickly. They did a fantastic job overnight to find out.

“A new dash was installed a few years later and Wade and his guys picked up on that quickly and everything went well with our table team,” Cabe said.

“We appreciated Wade’s leadership when we hosted two tournaments at the same time. UNC Asheville hosted the Big South Tournament when it won the regular season title and Wade was able to secure timekeepers for both tournaments. ”

King has participated in numerous college basketball games over the past 35 years. He has seen a bit of everything. King led the watch team in 2007 when the UNC Asheville women’s basketball team won their first-ever tournament title at the Justice Center. He saw 7-9 center Kenny George play for the Bulldogs men’s team in 2007-08 when they won the Deep South regular season title, but was denied a championship at the Justice Center when Winthrop beat them in the Championship game.

He and his team moved to Kimmel Arena from UNC Asheville in November 2011 and were there when top-ranked UNC Chapel Hill opened the arena against the Bulldogs in front of a sold-out crowd of over 3. 200 fans. Later in the season, King had a busy day when he saw Asheville win the 2012 tournament title with a victory over VMI, then after that game he would return downtown to work the night of the tournament. Southern Conference.

With the success of the SoCon tournament, Asheville was fortunate enough to host the Maui Invitational due to the pandemic last November. King and his team were selected to take part in this tournament where the Skyland native was fortunate enough to reunite with fellow Roberson High alumnus Roy Williams when he brought the Tar Heels to the event.

” I was lucky. I cannot thank UNC Asheville enough for hiring me all these years ago and staying with me for 35 years, ”King said. “Where it started in 1987 and where it got me is pretty amazing.

“But I couldn’t have done it myself. I was fortunate to have a great team of Dean Jones, Eddy Taylor, Mike Dunlap, Jeff Hoffman, Marcus Nix, Jay Young and Keith Mosley. We all work well together and our goal in every game is that no one notices us. If we did, then we had a good game.

King has been a member of the Western North Carolina Officials Association for 40 years. He has worked as a football and basketball official since 1981. He quit officiating basketball several years ago, but still works every Friday night in the fall and was selected to make the playoff game. of Reidsville-Shelby State in late November.

“I think being a field official has helped me run the clock,” King said. “We know what officials on the pitch need and try to make it easier for them with the way we do things.”

Although King has competed in the last 10 Southern Conference tournaments, several Deep South tournaments and the Maui Classic, he knows there is something special about being lucky enough to be a part of the NCAA tournament.

“There is no doubt that participating in the NCAA tournament is an incredible honor and I can’t wait to be there,” King said.

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