Born and raised in Missoula, Mont., Riley King has played and excelled at multiple sports for as long as he can remember. His parents were very supportive of his athletic endeavors and kept the company of people who would go on to have a meaningful impact on his athletic career.
After a successful high school career playing basketball, football and baseball, Riley attended college for one year and played basketball before he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals baseball organization. He played for the Royals organization for three years and then decided to return to Montana to pursue a business degree and play basketball for Montana Western.
“While growing up, school always came first and sports were a privilege,” King said. “Even after leaving college to play professional baseball, I knew I would return to finish my degree. Athletics are great, but a solid education prepares you for life after sports and teaches you the skills to be successful in a career.”
King looked at several colleges before choosing Montana Western. He was drawn to the school’s business program, Experience One (block scheduling) and was impressed with its basketball reputation under Head Coach Steve Keller.
“I’ve known Coach Keller my entire life and even played basketball against him, so that part of the decision was easy,” King said. “I needed to know more about the university’s business program, but after meeting with Montana Western’s business faculty, I knew right away that this was the university for me.”
Riley explained that UMW’s business faculty were very personable and caring from their first meeting. They emphasized the benefit of studying under one professor at a time and the ability to develop relationships and connections.
He decided to become a business major because of the versatility of the degree and the exceptional business faculty at Montana Western who promised him a rigorous yet fulfilling course load.
All business students are required to participate in an extensive internship, clocking in over 240 hours in their chosen field. Riley is undecided about where he’ll do his internship, but said he is “looking forward to the hands-on experience that an internship will provide.”
“When I was looking for a college to attend and asking people about Montana Western, I thought it was rare that everyone had positive things to say about the school, especially at the collegiate level,” King said. “So far I love the Experience One program much more than a typical college structure. It eliminates a lot of stress and helps me be successful in my academics and on the court.”
Riley has three years of eligibility with the Montana Western Bulldogs and plans to graduate with a business administration degree in spring 2018.