On a sunny spring afternoon walking down Copeley road, chances are you will see swarms of people decked out in UVa apparel, lines of cars, and cheers erupting from a nearby crowd. On this day, Davenport field is the place to be—there is a UVa baseball game. From families with small children to fellow students, everyone takes a break from their busy day to cheer on the Cavaliers as they dominate the field. Among the talented players is #13, stealing bases and raising his already impressive batting average. Number 13, fourth year Jared King, has been a key player to the success of the Cavaliers. He is a charismatic player, both on and off the field. In between his busy schedule of baseball games, school, and practice, Jared was able to tell Hercampus a little about his experience on the team.
Major? Kinesiology with a PE concentration
Hometown? Pulaski County, Virginia
How did you get started playing baseball? I’ve played since I was able to walk. My earliest memories are playing softball with my parents. They introduced me to the game and led me to playing it at a competitive level
How did you decide to play baseball for UVA? I knew about the outstanding academic reputation and the baseball program was really on the rise since the new coaching staff arrived 9 years ago. I really started taking a look at the way they did things here and once the staff came to my home and talked to me about their plans for me as a student-athlete, I couldn’t refuse the opportunity.
What is your role as a fourth year on the team? As a fourth year, I’ve really taken it upon myself to lead by example in all areas. I’ve always been a vocal leader, but this year I’ve tried to show the underclassmen how to approach every day by the way I handle my own business.
What’s the strangest or funniest thing that has happened during a game? Last year, Will Roberts threw the 8th perfect game in NCAA baseball history, so that was pretty strange. We also have had the sprinkler system go off in the middle of an inning and had cats and squirrels run onto the field.
What goes through your head right before you’re up to bat? Usually I’m just thinking about the situation that I’m presented with. After that I just try and focus on seeing the ball well and making a great swing.
Any favorite players in the Major Leagues? Albert Pujols is my favorite player. He is such a great role model and ambassador for the game of baseball. I’ve read many great things about him and most of them are about how great of a person he is, not just about his baseball talent.
How would you describe your own playing style? I’ve gotten a lot of flack from my teammates for being very “flashy”, but I would like to think I’m very versatile and clutch.
Is the transition from off-season to the start of your season difficult? During the off-season, we usually try and play lots of intra-squad games to give ourselves the most competitive atmosphere possible. During the fall, we also compete in the Iron Cavalier Challenge, which tests us mentally and physically. These few weeks are extremely difficult, but very beneficial for the team and individually. It’s during this time where we really learn how to manage our time because we’re so exhausted after long days at the field that we must find time to balance work.
What has been your proudest moment? Both trips to the College World Series
What are your post-graduation plans? My degree is through the Curry School of Education, and I will receive my Master’s Degree after a fifth year of student-teaching. Hopefully once I leave I’ll play baseball professionally and eventually coach and teach at some level.
Quote or motto you live by? “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13