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Washington walk-on guard Dan Kingma received a basketball scholarship from the Huskies.

The 5-10, 155-pound sophomore played sparingly last season in mop-up duty of blowout wins or lopsided losses. However, he found a spot in the rotation at the end of the season and appeared in the last five games.

Kingma played 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 converting .500 (7 of 14) three-pointers.

“Dan hasn’t been low maintenance, he’s been no maintenance,” coach Lorenzo 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 is the first UW walk-on since Will Conroy in 2002 who has received a scholarship. However, Conroy was given a scholarship after a week on campus.

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. It’s interesting with that attitude how it’s worked out for him up to this point. There’s so many parents that want to manipulate and try to fix the circumstances for their kids and make demands. There was none of that. You don’t have to live your life doing that all the time. Come out and work your butt off. And if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, you’ll be rewarded.”

Washington has 12 players on scholarship – the NCAA limit is 13 – and 15 on the roster, including three walk-ons.

“It doesn’t change anything whether you’re a walk-on or not,” Kingma said. “When I was a walk-on, I was treated like a scholarship player. 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.”

Here’s more from an interview with Kingma.

(Are there any more Kingmas left?) “There are five total of my siblings and I have a younger sister who is a freshman at college. She goes to Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. But that’s the last one.”

(Let’s go through them.) “So Kristi was the oldest child. She played here. Graduated 4-5 years ago.”

(And she’s doing what now?) “She talks on the radio for the women’s games. She started that last year. And she also runs a bunch of local basketball camps up north in Mill Creek where we’re from. She runs Kristi Kingma Basketball camps and does weekly training with girls. So she’s still around basketball.”

(Who’s next?) “Brett. And Brett is currently at Western Washington and is going to be playing there this year.”

(What year is he?) “He’s coming off of an ACL tear and from sitting out. So he’ll be a senior in school, but in basketball he’ll be a junior I believe.”

(He started at Oregon?) “He started at Oregon. Went there for a year. Went to Wazzu for a year and redshirted. Sat out and tore his ACL, but was at Western last year. And now he’s at Western.”

(Next?) “Me. I’m the third child along with Kelli my twin. And she’s here. We’re both going to be sophomores.”

(And last but not least.) “Brooke is the little sister. And she runs cross-country and track and field at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.”

(What happened with Brooke?) “Well, my mom is a runner. She was always a runner and my mom finally got one that was a runner.”

(How did that happen?) “She’s short like me, but always loved running. I never did. Our whole family is gifted in running because of my mom, but Brooke is the one that really actually loved it. She’s good at basketball too. She played high school basketball and probably could have played somewhere in college, but just had more passion for running.”

(Do you four ever tease her?) “No. We love Brooke. We can’t tease the baby. She’s too sensitive. But she’s awesome. She’s good at running and I’m glad she chose to do something she wanted and didn’t feel pressured to play basketball.”

(Not just that, she also left the state.) “Brett went to Oregon for a year, but she’s the only one to go. Props to her. The baby is the one that went all the way to the eastern United States. She loves it so far.”

(Did you ever have a choice or were you drawn to basketball because of your older siblings?) “It was my choice, but obviously I had an older brother and an older sister that were both really good at basketball so that helped me love basketball. But growing up I played baseball and soccer. I had a hard time not playing baseball because I loved baseball so much. My team actually played in the Little League World Series.”

(At Mill Creek?) “Yes.”

(What year?) “2008. That’s actually the last baseball game I ever played. So the last baseball game I ever played was on ESPN.”

(How old were you?) “I was 12.”

(What position did you play?) “I played second base.”

(Did you play in that World Series game?) “Yeah.”

(Did you get a hit?) “I was the lead-off batter. The last game we lost to the eventual champion Hawaii. I don’t think I got a hit in that game. They had a good squad.”

(Did they have any 22-year-old players?) “I hope not. I don’t know. They were so good.”

(So that was your last time playing baseball.) “I stopped playing baseball and soccer when I was 12 and right after that it was full on basketball. I don’t regret it at all, but I did love playing the other sports. Still, I think basketball worked out for me.”

(What’s your favorite memory from playing high school basketball?) “Favorite is tough.”

(Playing in state maybe.) “We made it to state all four years. My freshman year I got to play with my brother so that was cool. I didn’t play much. I swung JV and varsity as a freshman. So didn’t really play very much, but it was cool to play with him. Made it state all four years. Played in the state championship game my junior year. We were actually 26-1 so we lost the last game.”

(Who did you lose to?) “Curtis.”

(Who did they have at the time?) “No really big names.”

(Wow, you lost to some scrubs.) “[Laughs] Nah. They had a couple of college players. I’m not sure any of them would ring a bell. A good team, but we should have beat them. Yup.”

(Still looking for a favorite memory.) “My favorite memory specifically would be my senior year when we won a tournament called the Palm Springs Holiday Classic, which had a bunch of good teams from California. We were actually the first team to ever win the tournament not from California. They had Westchester High School. Some of the schools from LA so it was kind of cool. Kids going to Michigan and kids going to good schools. That was a good memory.”

(So you’re a junior and senior in high school who is doing well. Why did you choose to walk-on at Washington?) “You don’t really decide when you’re a walk-on, but I decided at the end of my junior summer. It was after junior AAU when I had a pretty good year, but didn’t really have to be honest any scholarship (offers). I was getting recruited by Division II schools and Division III schools – D-III obviously don’t give out scholarships. So I could have played at a couple of D-III schools. Was being recruited by D-II schools, so if I would have not decided on the UW maybe something would have came up my senior year of high school if I had a good year. As I was exploring my options my junior year and I had known Coach Romar before.”

(From UW basketball camps?) “Kristi was around. I’d gone to the camps. He kind of knew my family. So I got his phone number, talked to him a little bit throughout the summer and he just told me. He actually came to a couple of our high school practices.

(How cool is that?) “Yeah, it was cool. At the time I had no idea what it took or if he was going to let me walk on. I think it was November of my junior year that I could if I wanted to. It’s not the same as offering you and I’m not committing, but he said if you want a spot on the team we’ll have a spot for you. If you want to come to UW and play basketball here, you can.”

(You could have pursued a D-II scholarship knowing that at the very least, you had spot on UW’s roster in your back pocket.) “To me that was not such a bad option. That was the greatest option to be honest. I’m fortunate to have a family that I can go to college without being on scholarship. Obviously, a scholarship is nice, but I was fortunate to be able to walk on, which not everyone can do. I grew up watching all the UW games and idolized Coach (Will) Conroy, Nate Robinson, Isaiah (Thomas) and Brandon Roy so just thinking that I could actually play for UW it was like how can I turn that down. I would like to think that even if I had a scholarship to a small D-II school, it’s not all about the scholarship and I just couldn’t turn down going to UW to play basketball.”

(That’s pretty cool. Is it anything like you thought it would be?) “Obviously coach has a lot of integrity, but he told me when he told me that I could walk on is the way it worked at Washington was he didn’t treat the walk-ons any different. When you step foot on campus, the only thing that’s different is you’re paying for your school. But we’ll give you all of the same opportunities. You’re going to practice. You’re not going to be treated like anybody inferior to the other players. So you’re going to get your chance. And that really was the case. I never felt like I didn’t have the same opportunities because I wasn’t on scholarship. It was obviously challenging and I don’t think you can really prepare for that even in high school with how difficult it is and how hard you have to work. From what he told me it would be like and what I kind of expected, it was the same if not better.”

(How have you changed during the past year at UW?) “Definitely become a lot tougher and I have a better work ethic. In high school, obviously I had a lot of talent compared to people. But I feel like my game has completely had to change if I want to even compete at this level. If I don’t do all the little things and I don’t hustle and I don’t work hard and do everything the coaches ask me to do, I have absolutely no chance of competing out there and no chance of playing. So I’ve just had to really develop a habit of doing everything that I can possibly do. Obviously I’m not as athletic or tall or strong as people, but it’s really helped me to find a way to get everything that I can out of my ability.”

(Was last year a turning point for you? You went from not playing to finding a role in the rotation in the last 5-6 games. What happened?) “I loved the chance to be able to play. I didn’t play much throughout the whole year, but going into it I wasn’t expecting to play a ton. I didn’t come in there thinking I need to play. I wasn’t mad I wasn’t playing. Given the opportunity, it definitely made it more fun. It changed really quickly. I’m glad it happened. It definitely changed for the better, but it was good before too.”

(Was there a turning point?) “No. I worked hard throughout the whole year as if I wanted to play. I didn’t know if it would be that year or next year or just my senior year. I know I wanted to play at some point. It wasn’t really one particular thing, but the one moment that stands out to me is we were on the road in California. Romar came up to me at a team dinner and said be ready to play tomorrow. He said I was going to play. And that was the first time I had ever played in a meaningful game like when the game wasn’t a blowout or we weren’t losing by a lot. That was the time when I knew the chance to play.”

(Did you prepare any different?) “I definitely had more focus. I wasn’t too nervous. It’s not anything completely new. Obviously, it’s a bigger stage. But I tried to do what I had always done playing basketball, which is just to prepare. But it definitely made me a lot more nervous and focused.”

(After you played and performed well, did you sense that folks treated you differently?) “Not differently. Obviously people were like really happy to see me get the chance to play a little bit like I had always wanted. My family was really proud they got to watch me play and play some meaningful minutes. But it really didn’t change anything. My teammates, they were all really happy for me and excited for me. But it didn’t change anything because like all year they treated me well. The coaches always treated me well. When it happened they weren’t over the top surprised that I played and played well like you said. It was a little different, but nothing crazy.”

(What’s the best thing you do on the court?) “I would say working as hard as I can. Not everybody can do that. We got a lot of guys on our team that do it well, but I think that’s the one thing that can help me separate myself from other people.”

(And that has nothing to do with your three-point shot.) “No. I think my work ethic helps because I’ve obviously worked really hard on my shot, but when it comes to practicing every day and playing, the shot is a product of the work you put in over the years. It’s just helped me that I’ve learned to work as hard as I can. And sometimes that’s a hard thing to do for people. It’s still really hard for me. I just know that I have to in order to give myself a chance.”

(Is your shot something that needs constant work?) “It definitely needs constant work. Growing up no matter what I was shooting every single day – even today and throughout the offseason. If you don’t shoot for a week, like I broke my (index) finger (on left non-shooting hand), I came back and your shot feels weird. Shooting is something that’s all repetition. It’s all muscle memory. If you don’t shoot very much in like a week I feel like it goes away to a point. Especially in the games. You won’t notice it if you’re out there playing H-O-R-S-E as much, but if you get out there live and you haven’t shot and you haven’t put in work on your shooting, it’s definitely different.”

(Well, in games you only get 4-5 shots?) “And you got to make them count. Especially if you come in with a minute left. [Laughs]. You don’t want to shoot when everyone is telling me to shoot.”

(So the offseason rolls around and how does Romar let you know that he’s got something for you? Is it a conversation? Is it a letter in the mail? Is it a phone call?) “At the end of the spring he had a meeting with me. He has a meeting with all of the players towards the end of the year. What he does is go over your year and what he thinks you did good and bad. What you can improve on and how your offseason should look. Towards the end he told me he thought I earned a scholarship and he thought he could give me one. I was just obviously really grateful for that. We were just in a meeting and he just said and by the way we have a scholarship for you that we think you’ve earned.”

(And ‘by the way.’ That’s a very casual way to say something like that.) “And it doesn’t change anything. It’s just obviously awesome for me and my family. It doesn’t really change that much.”

(So you leave that meeting thinking what?) “I was just really grateful for the opportunities. Obviously, I had confidence in myself but I never expected to be on scholarship. That was always the goal and stuff. And I’m not saying I’m finished with anything, but it’s obviously a big deal for my family. It was a really, really awesome moment.”

(Who is the first person you told or called?) “My mom.”

(Why her?) “I actually have a funny story about that. Romar and I had a meeting at like 3 or something and I was coming after class. I drove to the Graves parking lot. It was like 2:57 p.m. and I was like you can’t be late to a meeting with Romar because that’s never good. So I parked my car and ran in. All of that happened and walked out. I was about to call my mom and I had a parking ticket. A $50 parking ticket. So I called my mom. I’m like, ‘I have good news and bad news. I got a parking ticket.’ And she’s like what? And I’m like, but it’s fine because I got a scholarship as well so I think we can pay for it. But I just called my mom because my mom loves hearing things that go good for me. Then obviously, I called my dad next.”

(You called the non-basketball player in your family.) “Yup. My dad was a close second. But I had to call my mom first.”

(Does being on scholarship change you?) “No it does not change me. At all. It doesn’t change anything. A lot of the guys really didn’t even know. I’m not even sure all of them know yet. I haven’t told more than five people.”

(One might argue how can it not change you?) “Because when I came in – obviously I was a walk-on – but it doesn’t change anything whether you’re a walk-on or not. When I was a walk-on, I was treated like a scholarship player. 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.”

(As far as I can tell, I don’t believe a walk-on has received a scholarship at UW since Romar has been here. There’s one caveat with Will Conroy, but that doesn’t really count.) “I’ve heard the story and I’m pretty sure his was a little unique. He definitely was good enough to be on scholarship right away. It might have been just a numbers thing.”

(It was. But that also makes your story very unique.) “I’m obviously grateful, but I just never really thought about it like that. I don’t know.”

(Back to your family, who is the best basketball player?) “If we all played 1-on-1?”

(To 15.) “It’s me or Brett. Brett is bigger than me, but I don’t know. I’d like to say, but I think it would probably go to Brett.”

(You’re way too nice.) “One-on-one, he’s got three years on me – although he is a junior and I’m a sophomore. At least, I think it’s debatable now. Up until a year ago, it was not debatable. I was always way too small, but I’ve gotten a little more used to it.”

(How tall is Brett?) “He’s like 6-1. But he’s a little bigger than me as well.”

(And you are?) “I’m like almost 5-10. Or 5-10 in shoes.”

(Did you model your game after his?) “No. I was a lot more of a point guard than Brett. He was more of straight scorer. Growing up I was a lot more of a – I played on really good teams so I had a lot more of an all-around point guard role. He had averaged 30 points in high school. I didn’t average 30 points. I really liked to watch Steve Nash and Tony Parker the point guards like that. Although, that’s not really my thing anymore.”

(Ever talk about the oddity of you playing at a Pac-12 school and Brett is at a D-II school?) “Yeah, we have talked about that. I’m happy for him that he’s in a good place. It’s a little bit funny because I would have never had thought that. And I think that Brett is definitely good enough to play at a similar level as well. When it comes to it, I don’t think that the level change really means too much. I think as long as he enjoys and he’s happy with how he plays. When you’re growing up you think there’s a big difference between D-I and D-II , but at this point I’d rather just see him do well.”

(Probably a little unfair, but what’s the moral of your story?) “I don’t know if I’m good at that kind of stuff. The moral? … I think the coolest part is just this is what I’ve always wanted to do – actually be here at UW. Although not very many people thought I could, this exact spot is where I wanted to be. Before I knew it, that’s where I am. There were a lot that said I couldn’t and a lot people who probably would never had believed it and sometimes it was almost like it couldn’t happen. But it did happen. Sometimes I just think about it. If you told 10-year-old Dan that he going into his sophomore year at UW he would be a scholarship basketball player, I would take that over anything. It wasn’t always easy, but I made it. And it’s not just because of me.”