Mark King is a former United States professional basketball player. A native of Inkster, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), King attended University of Pikeville (UPIKE) in Pikeville, KY as a walk-on freshman basketball player in 1996. In 2001, the Bears made their first ever appearance at the Men's NAIA Final Four.
After college, King continued playing basketball professionally. In 2005, he made his professional debut with the Orlando Aces. After 2 years with the Aces, he earned a contract with the East Kentucky Miners of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) in 2007. On March 2, 2008, he was a part of the largest scoring output in American professional basketball history, contributing 5 of the 194 points scored by the East Kentucky Miners against the Atlanta Krunk.
Upon learning that he would soon become a father, King turned down an opportunity to play for the Chicago Throwbacks of the Premier Basketball League (PBL) and redirected his attention towards the creation of the Florida Flight in Orlando, Florida. The Flight debuted in the now defunct World Basketball Association (WBA), finishing with an 8-4 record, tied for second best in the league. With the league having no real control over teams showing up for their scheduled games, King withdrew the Flight out of the WBA, despite being set to play for the WBA Championship, after scheduling complications severely hindered the overall brand and business of the Flight in Florida.
The next season, the Flight was recruited to play in a new upstart league, the Continental Basketball League (CBL), led by former CBA Director of Operations Dennis Truax. The Flight once again endured no-show opponents during the season, but earned the Southern Division Championship and the right to play the Cary Invasion, the Northern Division Champion, in the CBL Championship. The Flight fell to the Invasion 102 - 81.
Tired of dealing with leagues with poor leadership, King partnered with 2-time NBA Champion Greg Kite to establish a new, 4-team minor league system and successfully launched the Florida-based Florida Basketball Association (FBA). In the FBA, King, Kite and the founding members of the FBA established a credible, Florida-based system that truly provided a platform to develop players, referees and other sports management enthusiasts without the heavy and unnecessary burden of large travel budgets. The FBA remains one of the most credible minor league systems in the United States.
King graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Pikeville, and completed his Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) in 2012. When he's not with his family, he spends much of his free time guest speaking at various schools. He is also a regular guest lecturer at University of Central Florida's DeVos Sports Management School each semester.
With over 19 years of basketball experience at the secondary, collegiate and professional level, Chris Richard is an award winning leader who has accomplished a great deal on and off the court. He attended Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Florida where he helped lead Kathleen High Schoolʼs basketball team to a state championship In 2001. Chris is the first athlete in Polk County, Florida to be awarded both the Florida Dairy Farmers “Mr. Basketball” title and Gatorade Florida High School Boyʼs Basketball Player of the Year, both given annually to the top high school basketball performer in the state.
Upon graduating from Kathleen High School, Chris attended the University of Florida in Gainesville majoring in sociology. He went on to become one of the most improved players in the Southeastern Conference, being named the 2007 SEC Sixth Man of the Year. He was also critical in the Gators' run to the 2007 national title, hitting an astounding 84.6 percent from the floor and averaging 9.0 points per game.
Chis would leave UF to enter the 2007 NBA draft as the winningest player in school history and was a part of 112 wins, three SEC Tournament titles, an SEC East title, an SEC regular season title and two national titles (a rare and legendary feat) in his four years in Gainesville.
Following four successful years of college basketball, three Southeastern Conference championships, two national titles and the SEC Sixth man of the year award, Chris entered the 2007 NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected him in the second round with the 41st overall pick. In 2010, Chris landed a roster spot with the Chicago Bulls before moving to China to play for the Liaoning Panpan Dinosaurs in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Since retiring from basketball, Chris has put his focus on player development, fitness and performance training. Whether it was serving as a consultant for Letʼs Move Health & Fitness initiative or as the founder and CEO of The Rich Kids Project, his goal has remained the same: bringing about positive change for our youth.