Doctors walked into his room and delivered a diagnosis of leukemia. They told King he was in such bad shape that he wouldn't have lived to see 18 years of age had he not arrived at the hospital when he arrived. In fact, the doctors were a little more specific than that.
"They told me I would've died the next day," King said. "I basically had one day to live. It was June 14, 2010."
The sheer fact that King is alive today to tell this story, much less play Division 1 basketball is impressive enough. But even through his worst times, King wasn't focused on himself. After being contacted by Make-A-Wish when he was healthy enough to get out of bed, King requested an opportunity to meet Miami Heat star LeBron James.
"But then I started thinking about it, and I decided it would be very selfish of me to use my Wish to meet one of my heroes when there were so many people who had been helping me when I was sick and down," King said. "I decided I wanted to give back to those people. I decided to do something different."
What King decided was that he'd rather throw a lunch-party for his classmates who had spent much of the previous two years fundraising and praying for him than meet the NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player. It was an odd request for Make-A-Wish but one the foundation happily granted. Chick-fil-A sandwiches and sides were provided for nearly 2,000 students and faculty last April at Middle Creek High while King stood at the head of the line hugging and thanking friends and teachers.
That's an amazing young man, and it's not surprising that Make-A-Wish delivered on his original wish as well.
King was cleared by his doctors to begin practicing with NCCU on November 22, so it's not terribly surprising that he's only played 1 minute in 1 game so far this season. But if you see #35 step out on to the court for NCCU tomorrow, keep in mind that defending Junior Cadougan's not the hardest thing that Rashawn King's done in his life.