|The Colonels' dynamic duo
RELEASED: Nov. 26, 2003
DANVILLE, KYMartin and Lewis. Jordan and Pippen. Lewis and Clark.
Another dynamic duo, Rob King and James Booker, can be found at Centre Collegeand they have something in common with each of the aforementioned famous pairs.
The King and Booker Show is a long-running production. The seniors from Louisville, Ky., have been fast friends since meeting the summer before they started 6th grade at an educational camp. Like Lewis and Clark, they're well traveled together.
They attended Westport Middle School in Louisville and continued to bond when neither made the cut to play for the boys' basketball team. Each was selected to the squad as a 7th-grader, and they have been on the same team ever since. They went on to play for DuPont Manual High School and start their fourth season together with the Colonels. It's their 10th year of organized basketball on the same team, the exact number of years Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen played hoops together for the Chicago Bulls.
Though they never talked of playing on the same collegiate team after high school, recruiters usually came to see them both.
"We were a combo meal," King said. "I was the Big Mac, and he was the shake."
This is where they resemble Martin and Lewis. Booker, like Dean Martin, is the straight man. He's plain spoken, quiet and humble. King is Jerry Lewis, never shy about striking up a conversation or cracking a joke.
King and Booker roomed together their freshman year. Each now serves as a resident assistant.
"Our first year everyone called me James and called James 'Rob,' " King said.
"I was his personal secretary my freshman year," Booker said. "People would come up to me and ask where Rob was and what he was doing."
Everyone seemed to think of the two as one. During the first basketball scrimmage of their freshman year, Booker turned his ankle while King watched from the bench. Men's basketball coach Greg Mason, instead of consulting with a trainer, sought out King.
"Coach Mason ran to the end of the bench and asked me 'Is James OK?' " King said with a laugh. "Like I telepathically knew if he was OK or not."
King and Booker were part of Mason's first recruiting class at Centre.
"Bringing Rob and James in along with the rest of the class really kick-started the program," he said. "They're two of the better leaders we've had here in a long, long time. They've done a lot for Centre men's basketball and for Centre College."
Sarah Scott Hall, director or residence life and counseling at Centre, has been more than happy to have them serve as resident assistants the past couple of years.
"Rob and James are both highly respected by their fellow students," she said. "They're conscientious, dependable and responsible. They're true role models on campus, and I feel extremely lucky to have them on the staff."
This will more than likely be their final year playing together. Booker, a double-major in English and sociology, is considering teaching middle-school language arts after graduation. King, an economics major, is considering working for National City Bank, where he interned last summer.
But they plan to stay in touch and even relish the idea of seeing the other grow older.
"Rob's going to be a funny old man with a lot of good stories," Booker says with a smile.
"James will be funny because he's going to continue to try and play basketball with those bad knees," King retorts.
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