Darius King, 17
Riverwood International Charter School, rising senior
Darius King doesn’t turn down challenges.
“If it challenges me, I’ll probably like it,” said Darius, the son of Crystal and David King of Sandy Springs.
In March, Darius challenged himself by joining Riverwood’s track team for the first time as a high jumper. He impressively cleared 6 feet. Later that month, Darius set a school record with a jump of 6 feet, 5 inches, and bettered that in April with a jump of 6-9 at the Volunteer Outdoor Track Classic in Knoxville, Tenn.
His string of successes did not end there. On May 7, he won the Georgia High School Association Class AAA high jump championship with a leap of 7 feet at the Georgia Olympics in Jefferson.
“Going from 6 feet the first time I practiced to 7 feet just two months later was sort of crazy,” Darius said.
But his title did not come without a great deal of training and practice, including backbends to improve his technique.
“More practice makes perfect,” he said. “It’s a lot of work.”
An all-around athlete, Darius has been playing varsity basketball since he was a sophomore, and he played lacrosse his freshman year.
Throughout high school, Darius, an honor roll student, has been able to effectively balance athletics, academics and his leadership role as drum major of Riverwood’s marching band.
As drum major, Darius views himself as a role model: “If you put your best effort forward, people will follow.”
For the past seven years, Darius has played various instruments, including the French horn, trumpet, saxophone and piano. His favorite instrument is the French horn because “it’s the most challenging instrument to play.”
As a result of his athletic success, Darius has been recruited by various colleges, including Louisiana State University, University of Miami, Wake Forest University, Gonzaga University, University of South Alabama and Morehouse College. His top choices are LSU and Morehouse.
In college, Darius wants to study either archaeology or marine biology. However, his ultimate goal is to compete in the Olympics.
In the meantime, Darius plans to work out and stay in shape and is looking forward to competing in the Georgia Olympics again next year.
— Michaela Kron