Janiyah King named Selma Times-Journal Player of the Year

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Anytime Keith Lady Bear Janiyah King got on base it was pretty much a foregone conclusion she will eventually score. Her ability on the base-paths and her play at third base in big-time moments led her to be named the Selma Times Journal Player of the Year. The freshman plays above her age, and according to her coach Towanna Flennory, she is a special player at a young age and only going to get better.

“Janiyah King is a great player and person,” Flennory said. “She is hardworking and humble on and off the field. King can play any position and will play any position with a smile. She loves the game of softball, and it shows. It is an honor to coach her.”

The season-defining play for King came during the regionals when the Lady Bears were down six in the first round. King made a massive play at third to get out of the inning, leading to a Keith run in the following inning to take the lead and eventually win the game. That defined the season she had. It was full of hard work and determination.

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“The season was really good,” King said. “Last season, I had to come in with the mindset that I wanted to come in and go to regionals and win a game. Last year we didn’t win a game. Last season I was not hitting the ball. This season I had to come back and hit the ball because I knew it was going to lead us to regionals and I knew once I got on base I knew I had the speed to score.”

King’s mom, Khadijah Fikes, was proud to hear that her daughter earned Times Journal’s player of the year. She said that King winning the Player of the Year will push her to be even better from here on out.

“Every day she makes me proud of her,” Fikes said. “To see her go and give a 150 percent effort no matter win lose or draw. To see her fight out of a swamp and see her encourage her teammates even If they see that the game is lost for them it brings me joy to see the things I have been pouring into her just as an individual and then going over into the sports world. I am beyond proud of her. I have been looking and I have never seen a freshman be named player of the year. When I first heard the news I jumped two feet. It made me feel like I am not the only one that sees the greatness in her.”