Last season, Kingma played in the final five games and beat out scholarship players Darrin Johnson and Quevyn Winters — both left the team during the offseason — for a spot in the rotation.
Upon receiving the news that he earned a basketball scholarship at Washington, sophomore guard Dan Kingma returned to his car to find a $50 parking ticket on the windshield.
So Kingma calls his mother with the good and bad news. He tells her about the ticket first.
“And she’s like, what?” Kingma said. “And I’m like, but it’s fine because I got a scholarship as well, so I think we can pay for it.
“I just called my mom because my mom loves hearing things that go good for me.”
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The past year could have hardly have gone any better for the former Jackson High standout. He began his freshman season as an undersized 5-foot-10, 155-pound walk-on who collected mop-up duty in blowout wins and lopsided losses.
“Early on in practice when the guards would really get into him, they would make it tough for him,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “It would be hard for him to bring the ball up and get where he wanted to get it. The guys were stronger than him early and would sometimes post him up.
“As the year went on, you would just start to notice the guards couldn’t take the ball from him. They couldn’t keep him from getting to certain spots on the floor. Because he is very smart and because he works so hard and doing the right thing is important to him, he learned where we were supposed to be offensively and defensively.”
Kingma played in the final five games and beat out scholarship players Darrin Johnson and Quevyn Winters — both left the team during the offseason — for a spot in the rotation in the last three outings.
He tallied 16 minutes and finished with nine points — both personal bests — on 3-for-5 shooting in a season-ending 71-69 loss to Stanford in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. He averaged 2.7 points and 6.5 minutes, while shooting .500 (7 of 14) on three-pointers.
“Dan hasn’t been low maintenance, he’s been no maintenance,” Romar said. “He’s given it his all. He’s never come with any expectations other than I’m going to be on the team and I’m going to give you everything I have every day. That’s what he’s done. That’s rare. There aren’t very many that can do it that way. There comes a point where they become disenchanted with their role.”
Kingma, 19, is one of five siblings in a sports-oriented family. His father Gregg played basketball at Seattle Pacific University and his mother Gail is four-time qualifier for Olympic marathon trials.
Kingma’s older sister Kristi had a record-setting basketball career at UW. His older brother Brett began his college hoops career at Oregon before transferring to Washington State and Division II Western Washington for his junior year. His twin sister Kelli is a sophomore on the UW women’s basketball team, and his little sister Brooke runs cross-country at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.
When asked who wins the backyard pickup games, Kingma deferred to his older brother, a 6-1 shooting guard who averaged over 30 points in high school.
“I think it’s debatable now,” Kingma said. “Up until a year ago, it was not debatable.”
Kingma is the first UW walk-on to receive a scholarship since Will Conroy was given one as a freshman after a week on campus in 2001.
According to the NCAA, the average scholarship at an in-state public school is worth about $15,000 per year. However, in 2011, USA Today estimated that the actual value of a Division I basketball scholarship at schools like UConn and Kentucky was about $140,000/year when factoring in access to athletic facilities, coaching support, gear and equipment, medical facilities, travel as well as tuition, room and board and books.
NCAA scholarships are renewable each year and Romar noted there’s no guarantee Kingma will be rewarded another one during his UW career.
“There was no manipulation and there was no hidden agendas with him and his parents,” Romar said. “Everything was so up front. Just the old-fashioned — is there an opportunity for me to have a chance and if I get it in return I’m going to give you everything that I have.”
Washington has 12 players on scholarship — the NCAA limit is 13 — and 15 on the roster, including three walk-ons.
“When I was a walk-on, I was treated like a scholarship player,” Kingma said. “And when I’m a scholarship player I’m still going to be as Coach Chill (Raphael Chillious) would say, I’m still walk-on Dan. He liked the way I went about my work ethic before and he’s like, don’t change on me. I was like, of course not.
“Nothing changes. It’s not like my work is done or anything or I need to feel entitled. So nothing really changes. It’s obviously a good and awesome thing to have, but it doesn’t change anything.”