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PAT KING

Inducted: 2009 - Player

Hometown: New York City, NY

Born: March 19, 1959            

In an era when players were often designated as "O" or "D," Pat King possessed the skills to dominate every facet of the game and the stamina to play every point. Pat, an indomitable competitor, was described as a complete leader: inspiring his teams with a cheer, showing great instinct for knowing when to admonish a teammate and when to use praise and encouragement to build him back stronger than before, and never asking any more of his teammates than he gave of himself. King’s work ethic, leadership and athletic skills were central to his teams’ successes.

King once claimed he expected to win every game he played. And in the final years of his career he largely met this expectation. As the founder and spiritual heart of NYNY, King, also known as "PK," provided the spark that ignited the engine of the most dominant team of his era. NYNY amassed six UPA Club Open Championships, four World Championships and victories in virtually every major tournament of the time. When King retired from competitive Ultimate in 1993, NYNY was the reigning U.S. National and World Champion. Later, King briefly came out of retirement to add a U.S. Masters title with Squash in 1995.

King now lives in Northern California with his wife, Lisa, and their three children.


Playing Career | US Nationals | WFDF Worlds | Contributions & ServiceInterview

 

Playing Career

Year
Team Name
1977   Trinity High School
1977-1981   Dartmouth College
1978   Columbia University
1979-1982   The Heifers
1982   The Mass Murderers
1983-1986   KABOOM!
1987-1993   New York Ultimate (NYNY)
1995   Squash
1996-2000   Hong Kong Ultimate
1998   OOMPH!

 
 

US National Championship Tournaments

Name    City    Year    Venue    Placing
KABOOM!   NYC   1983   New Orleans, LA   Fifth
KABOOM!   NYC    1984   Santa Barbara, CA   Fifth
KABOOM!   NYC    1985   Washington, D.C.   Second
KABOOM!   NYC    1986   Houston, TX   Third
NYNY   NYC    1987   Miami, FL   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1988   San Diego, CA   Third
NYNY   NYC   1989   Washington, D.C.   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1990   West Palm Beach, FL   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1991   Sanford, FL   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1992   San Diego, CA   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1993   Selma, TX   Champion
Squash   NYC   1995   Birmingham, AL   Champion

WFDF World Ultimate Championships

Name    City    Year    Venue    Placing
NYNY   NYC   1988   Belgium   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1990   Norway   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1991   Toronto   Champion
NYNY   NYC   1993   Madison, WI   Champion

 

HoF PatKing 1990

Contributions and Service

I think the great teams of NYC made huge contributions to the development of the sport. I also was fortunate enough to have the Japanese Ultimate players association ask me to travel to Tokyo in 1990 and 1991 to teach Ultimate, a program organized by Mike Glass and Mike O’Dowd of Windy City and Masa Honda of Japan.

 

Interview

Q: What position(s) (e.g., handler, deep cutter, middle middle) did you usually play?

A: Handler on offensive.  I played almost every position in the defensive zone at one time or another.

Q: Please describe your major accomplishments - both as a teammate and individual?

A: My greatest accomplishment as an individual was to have played on the teams I played on—for my money, two of the greatest teams in the history of the sport. KABOOM! was a perennial overachiever that introduced many innovations that became part of the game. It also developed a well-earned reputation for never quitting.  KABOOM! was like a wild animal—at its most dangerous when it was wounded.  NYNY was seven, hard years in the making.  A group of disparate egoists put their differences aside and worked for a common goal—to build the best team ever.  We pushed the sport to new levels and won six National Championships, four World Championships, and a lot of other tournaments along the way.  My greatest and proudest accomplishment was to have been associated with the guys on these two teams.

Q: Please explain why you stood out among the elite players of your time. What was it that you did best, or were known for?

A: What made me stand out among the elite players? Probably that I didn’t really stand out at all. I was never a flashy player. I suppose I had a reputation for being a good thrower, being tough to cover, and coming up with big plays.  And I think most people I played with and against would agree that I had a knack for stepping up and leading when the game was on the line. I expected to win every game I played and I like to think this confidence gave my teammates confidence during crunch time. I never gave up and the teams I played on never gave up. I think this attitude contributed to KABOOM!’s uncanny ability to find a way to win when it didn’t seem possible.  On NYNY, the bigger trick was keeping such a talented group of players focused on a common objective—keeping the train on a winning track over seven grueling seasons. I believe I was one of the voices on the team that contributed to the team's sustained focus.  I hope my teammates agree.

Q: What role did you play on the best (or most overachieving team) that you played on?

A: KABOOM! was the most overachieving team I played on and was probably the most overachieving team that ever played. We consistently beat teams we had no right to beat. I was one of the go-to guys on both offense and defense. NYNY was a better team—perhaps the best team ever. With NYNY, I played a lot of defense, was one of the primary offensive handlers, and contributed to the strategic thinking of the team.  But on NYNY—a team with phenomenal talent and depth—everyone was a role player, including me.  That’s what made us so tough to beat.

Q: What is the most memorable game you participated in?

A: Wow.  So many incredible games. It’s not possible to say which was the most memorable.  One of my favorites, for a lot of reasons, was the 1991 Tempe Tournament, a January tournament and the first tournament after Nationals. A skeleton squad of about nine NYNY’ers picked up a few players from other teams to fill our roster.  We played the Iguanas in the finals, the same team we beat in the finals of Nationals a few months earlier. They had a full squad and should have squashed us like bugs.  But that didn’t happen. In the finals, I threw nine of the first 11 goals and caught one of the two goals I didn’t throw.  I tossed several more in the second half, including the game winner. But this tournament really stands out because I played wearing a jersey that belonged to my teammate, Dennis Warsen.  Dennis had to pull-out of the tournament at the last minute to attend his father’s funeral.  That’s probably why I played so well—big shoes to fill.  That win meant a lot to me.  It also kicked-off a year where NYNY completely dominated the sport, winning every major tournament on our way to our third consecutive National Championship.

Q: Why do you believe you are worthy of being inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame?

A: I played at Dartmouth for four years and never made it out of Sectionals.  I'm sure there are a lot of great players who never get the recognition they deserve because they play for teams that don't receive much recognition. I was voted into the Hall because I was lucky enough to play on great teams and with great teammates. I suppose the purpose of the Hall of Fame is to give recognition to individuals over teams and I'm honored that people think I deserve individual recognition.  But I have no illusions; I stood on the shoulders of giants.

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