A big, fat tax break from D.C. might curb generosity

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionATLANTA — One big item in Republican tax plans would make figuring out our individual income taxes a little less crazy. But it comes at a price.So here’s a basic question millions of Americans may soon face, one that highlights the link between behavior and money:Will we donate less to charities if it’s harder to get a tax break for doing so?Nonprofits are nervousIn fact, nonprofits fear they might lose billions of dollars in donations. Because while the deductions for charitable contributions won’t go away, they (and some others such as a deduction for mortgage interest) would become way less relevant under the GOP tax plans.“They are keeping these deductions in name, but they are effectively going away for lots of folks,” said Gregg Polsky, a University of Georgia professor whose focuses include tax law.Initial proposals in both the House and Senate would nearly double the allowed standard deduction (from $6,350 to about $12,000 for singles, and from $12,700 to about $24,000 for married couples filing jointly).On the surface, this sounds like the government just gave us our wallets back.In reality it’s a bit more complicated than that, though it looks like most people will end up paying less in taxes.While increasing the standard deduction, the proposals eliminate personal exemptions of $4,050 per person, but also boost child tax credits and offer temporary new credits, but also mess with or eliminate other deductions.)One big deduction or many little ones?Every year, tens of millions of individual U.S. taxpayers have to decide whether it’s a better deal to take the standard deduction or to itemize deductions for things like charitable donations, home mortgage interest, state income taxes, real estate taxes, car taxes and medical expenses. I got in touch with Habitat for Humanity International, a pretty wonderful organization that does good by helping people get homes of their own.“Habitat for Humanity has serious concerns about the proposed tax bill’s impact on charitable giving,” Chris Vincent, a vice president for the organization, said in a statement emailed to me.“Habitat strongly urges Congress to preserve and enhance charitable giving incentives, to preserve the vital work that organizations like Habitat do with low-income families across the country.”Transformational giftsA United Way survey from a few years back suggested that 30 percent of Americans would give less if there was no tax incentive.Alicia Philipp, the president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, told me she thinks people will still give money to nonprofits, they’ll just give less.What also worries her are simultaneous proposals to reduce estate taxes paid by the wealthiest segment of society.She works with some of those folks, and I think she’d love to see them and their heirs continue to thrive financially. But some give large donations as part of their estate planning, which includes the idea of preferring to give money to charities rather than to Uncle Sam.“I talk to a lot of estate planning attorneys. … They say 50 percent of their clients would actually change their behavior if this goes through,” Philipp said.Alarm clock for givingOur tax code works like an alarm clock for generosity. It rouses us and encourages us to donate now, before the end of the tax year or, if you’re rich, before you die, rather than procrastinating until who knows when.Try visiting a Salvation Army or Goodwill drop-off in the last few days of the year.Some centers hire police officers to manage the crush of people trying to donate items in time to claim them on their next income tax forms.“New Year’s Eve is that magical time in the financial year when we Americans become incredibly charitable, in part because we are a little greedy,” I wrote in a past column.“Isn’t it beautiful when self-interest collides with societal interest?”center_img Itemizing adds more complexity and time to what’s already a grueling process.But if it can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars, it’s worth it for lots of people.Nearly one in three people who file taxes itemize now.That could plummet to one in 20 if Congress essentially doubles the standard deduction as proposed, according to Richard Schmalbeck, a Duke University law professor who specializes in tax issues.People who don’t itemize no longer have a tax incentive to give to charities. Here’s why that’s a big deal, using some math from wonks at the Tax Policy Center.Someone with a tax rate that goes as high as 28 percent could give a $100 donation to a charity, but they’d see a $28 drop in taxes with the deduction. Which means that $100 donation ultimately only cost them $72. Keep in mind that the federal tax code is rife with exceptions and loopholes that help out some and not others.The tax proposals don’t come close to fully reforming the system.They only modestly address one of the biggest flaws in our federal income tax structure: It is far too complex.Regular families shouldn’t feel they need to hire accountants or pay for tax software just to make sure they are abiding by the law and paying neither more nor less in taxes than required.We can do better.Matt Kempner writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Arsenal could beat Manchester United to William Saliba signing in coming weeks

first_img Comment Arsenal could beat Manchester United to William Saliba signing in coming weeks Advertisement Arsenal could beat Manchester United to William Saliba in the coming weeks (Picture: Getty)Arsenal could wrap up a deal to sign Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba in the coming weeks, according to reports in France.Saliba broke into Saint-Etienne’s first-team in September and the 18-year-old had an outstanding debut season, helping Jean-Louis Gasset’s side to a fourth-place finish in Ligue 1.Both Arsenal and Manchester United have registered a strong interest in Saliba and the centre-back is open to making the step up to the Premier League this summer.Saliba’s agent hinted that the youngster could be on his way to Old Trafford after he was spotted in Manchester at the weekend, but it appears Arsenal are now favourites to win the transfer race.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityLe 10 Sport claims the Gunners are in advanced discussions with all parties and talks are progressing so well that it’s possible an agreement will be reached in the ‘coming weeks’ for the France Under-19 international.Saint-Etienne have requested that Saliba returns to them on loan next season, but Emery is not prepared to wait another year for defensive reinforcements after Arsenal shipped 51 goals in the Premier League.It’s understood Saint-Etienne have slapped a €30million (£26m) price tag on Saliba, with Watford and Southampton also interested in the teenager. Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 12 Jun 2019 7:47 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares Saint-Etienne have set an asking price of £26m for the French centre-back (Picture: Getty)Emery only has around £40m to spend on new recruits this summer and the Spaniard has prioritised signing a central defender.Former Arsenal full-back Lauren is convinced by Saliba’s potential after watching the teenager’s meteoric rise in France.‘Yes, he looks a very good player,’ Lauren told AmericanGambler.com. ‘Strong, tall, can come out of the back with the ball and an international for France.‘He reads the game very well, which is important for a player at the back, you have to anticipate and he looks very good at just 18, so the future is bright!’More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesSaliba has also earned Jose Mourinho’s praise after an impressive string of performances towards the end of Saint-Etienne’s Ligue 1 campaign.‘I think he has everything needed to become a good player, much like Kurt Zouma, who I signed,’ the former Manchester United and Chelsea manager said.MORE: Arsenal confident of beating Bayern Munich to £25m summer signinglast_img read more

Unai Emery says he has the backing of the Arsenal board amid sack fears

first_imgDavid Luiz has been singled out for criticism for his recent form (Picture: Getty Images)‘That support gives me strength and I know my responsibility is to change the situation.‘My future is today and tomorrow. My job is to prepare for this match against Frankfurt. Those are my only thoughts.’Whether Emery feels this way or not, he may still be out of work soon unless results improve.Reports suggest that if he cannot beat Frankfurt on Thursday and Norwich in the Premier League on Sunday then he will be dismissed.Former Arsenal player Jermaine Pennant has accused the current squad of trying to get Emery sacked, but the boss insists the players are still behind him.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityAsked whether or not the players still believed in him, Emery said: ‘Yes of course. They show that. As a coach each moment in my career is difficult. This is a very good but very hard job.‘When you are winning you feel the support for everybody. I believe in us, I believe in the players. I know I am going to work very hard to come back to the performance.’Arsenal take on Frankfurt at 8pm on Thursday 28 November.MORE: Charlie Nicholas delivers Europa League predictions for Arsenal v Frankfurt and Astana v Man UtdMORE: Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio urges Nuno Espirito Santo to reject Arsenal Phil HaighThursday 28 Nov 2019 7:58 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kShares Unai Emery says he has the backing of the Arsenal board amid sack fears Unai Emery is confident that he has support at the Emirates (Picture: Getty Images)Unai Emery insists he has the full support of the Arsenal board despite talk of his potential sacking becoming all the more persistent.The Gunners boss is going through a torrid time with his side winless in six matches in all competitions.Pressure is mounting on the Spaniard as not only are results poor, but performances have been listless, with clear defensive problems going unattended.Candidates to replace Emery are being bandied about, but the manager remains confident that the Arsenal hierarchy have his back.ADVERTISEMENT‘The club is really supporting me,’ said Emery ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Frankfurt on Thursday night.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I feel everyone responsible in that area is backing me and I really appreciate it a lot. Comment Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Ballin’ Broadbeach Waters house a hole-in-one offering for buyers

first_img MORE NEWS: Businessman willing to trade his trophy home and luxury yacht Anyone up for a game of one-on-one? Or some waterfront mini golf? The five-bedroom entertainment haven’s luxe mix includes a mini basketball court, putting green, L-shaped pool and five outdoor entertainment areas — one with a firepit, another with a teppanyaki grill and bar. MORE NEWS: Bumper weekend of auction action for Coast agency 58 Rio Vista Blvd, Broadbeach Waters, is a slam dunk home that has hit the market. Shooting hoops, waterfront golf or picking one of three bars to enjoy a drop of vino sound like the offerings of a lavish hotel. But you can do all that and more at this Broadbeach Waters house. The lavish kitchen. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa12 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoOne of the home’s three bars. Monaco Royals Pty Ltd developer Buddika Kulasekara said the brand-new house was a special project with plenty of “wow factor”. “My favourite part is definitely the master bedroom where you have everything in double,” Mr Kulasekara said. “Two closets, two vanities, two toilets, two showers and I gave them a minibar and good-sized study area.” center_img The opulent main bedroom. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51 There’s two of everything in the ensuite. Mr Kulasekara said his aim wasn’t to make plenty of money, but create a house which was unique and over the top.“We used the most expensive and top-end range. The chandelier is from Dubai, the wallpaper is imported from Germany — I think I have overdone some things. “But who can give all these options in one, single house?” Waterfront views from the dining room which opens to two outdoor entertainment areas. The open-plan main living area maximises the canal-front position and has views of the Gold Coast skyline. It is anchored by a designer kitchen and adjoining bar with a built-in wine fridge.The ultra-luxurious house also features a mono stringer floating staircase, Miele appliances, a security system and a 25-year structural warranty. The expressions of interest campaign close on April 22.last_img read more

Family First brings US author to NZ to talk about dangers of cannabis ahead of legalisation referendum

first_imgHowever, professor Joseph Boden – who is part of the Prime Minister’s expert panel on cannabis – doesn’t agree with Mr Berenson’s views. He’s been brought to New Zealand by Family First and told Seven Sharp why he thinks cannabis is linked to bouts of psychosis and violence. “That’s what the strongest medical evidence shows, there is no question it can cause temporary episodes of psychosis in many users. He’s written a book linking cannabis use to psychosis and violence. Some scientists actively dispute his conclusions, though. One person who says it’s unsafe and dangerous is US author and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson. “It’s just scaremongering,” he says. Those who were more likely to intend to vote for legalisation were Green Party supporters, women aged 18 to 34, Māori, people with annual household incomes between $30,001 to $70,000 and Labour Party supporters. TVNZ One News 17 February 2020On September 19th you’ll be voting on who you want to govern the country, as well as a referendum on whether to legalise cannabis.Central to that debate is whether you think cannabis is safe or unsafe. Green Party’s Chlöe Swarbrick said the poll results indicated that “we really have a job to do in getting out there and talking to people”.https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/family-first-brings-us-author-nz-talk-dangers-cannabis-ahead-legalisation-referendumCannabis referendum: Anti-marijuana book author’s warning to New ZealandNewsHub 17 February 2020A former New York Times journalist has warned New Zealand against legalising recreational cannabis, saying its risks have been “substantially understated”.Alex Berenson is the author of a controversial new book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, Violence. He is in New Zealand as a guest of Family First.Berenson spoke to Magic Talk’s Peter Williams on Monday to explain why he believes recreational cannabis shouldn’t be legalised.“The harms of cannabis are quite a bit larger than are generally realised.”READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/02/cannabis-referendum-anti-marijuana-book-author-s-warning-to-new-zealand.htmlKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.center_img Mr Berenson didn’t used to believe that cannabis was dangerous, but he says today’s strains are more potent and synthetic products are also using levels of THC that would be “hard to imagine in the ’90s even to have used.” “But more sophisticated analysis shows that in fact the rate was lower than it would have been had cannabis not been legalised,” Mr Boden says.It comes as New Zealanders are more likely to vote against legalisation of cannabis in the upcoming referendum, according to the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll. Remain illegal – 51%Legalise cannabis – 39%Will not vote – 1%Don’t know / refused – 9% “He takes data out of context, so he shows there was an increase in the murder and violence levels in Washington state, after cannabis was legalised. The groups of people who were more likely than average to intend to vote against legalising cannabis were Asian New Zealanders, National Party supports and people aged 55 and over. Those polled were asked, ‘At this stage, do you think you will vote for cannabis to be legalised, or for cannabis to remain illegal?’ “The issue as to whether it can cause permanent psychosis or schizophrenia there is more debate around, but many psychiatrists have come around to this view,” Mr Berenson stated.last_img read more

Bovine TB found in 2nd cattle herd in Franklin Co.

first_imgFRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. — State animal health officials say a second beef cattle herd has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis in southeastern Indiana.The Indiana State Board of Animal Health announced that the beef cattle herd with the animal disease is in Franklin County.Those animals have been placed under quarantine.Another beef cattle herd tested positive for bovine TB in April, also in Franklin County.The newly identified infected herd is within an existing 10-mile surveillance zone.That means no new cattle herds nearby need to be tested as a result of the new discovery.Indiana won’t lose its TB-free status thanks to the terms of a federal order issued in 2010.But the State Board of Animal Health must submit its TB plan to U.S. Department of Agriculture by mid-February.last_img read more

Golden Eaglets in Brazil to win — Garba

first_imgRelatedPosts Ex-Falcons, Golden Eaglets coach dies in Osun Breaking: Netherland send Eaglet packing from FIFA U17 World Cup FIFA U17 World Cup: Eaglets to battle Netherlands in last-16 Golden Eaglets coach, Manu Garba, has declared that winning is part of the Nigerian DNA and his young team would, as a result, aim to win a trophy Nigeria has lifted a record five times.Garba, who won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Championship as head coach of Nigeria, is currently in Brazil with the Golden Eaglets for the 18th edition of the Championships, and has revealed his boys’ readiness to challenge, yet again, for the title they won in 2015.“Everyone should get ready to see a fantastic Nigerian team that play great football and have the trophy in their sights,” coach Manu Garba confidently told FIFA.com.“Ecuador, Hungary and Australia are undoubtedly strong teams that we respect, but we are record-breaking world champions and I was involved in two of our title wins.”Garba is a proven veteran at this level, having also served as coach Yemi Tella’s assistant when the Golden Eaglets ruled the world in 2013.“The will to win every game is part of the DNA of every Nigerian team, and my team here in Brazil is no exception,” he said.Samson Tijani is the captain of the team in Brazil and he revealed that he, together with his teammates, believe in the abilities of the coaches to lead them to glory.“Our country’s previous success does not place any pressure on our shoulders at all,” Tijani said.“But the world is naturally expecting a great deal from us, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors.“Our coaches have so much experience – not just Garba, but also his assistant, Nduka Ugbade, who led Nigeria to the title for the first time as captain in 1985. They know exactly what we need to do to finish the tournament as champions.” Tags: Golden Eagletslast_img read more

Cricket News On This Day – India vs Pakistan Test hit by Eden Gardens riot over Sachin Tendulkar run-out

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. highlights Sachin Tendulkar was bowled for a golden duck by Shoaib Akhtar.Tendulkar was run-out in controversial circumstances in the second innings.Riots marred the Eden Gardens Test on both the days. New Delhi: The India vs Pakistan matches in 1999 was played in an environment of extreme tensions. Political outfits dug up the pitch in Feroz Shah Kotla, forcing the first Test to be shifted to Chennai. India lost the Chepauk Test by 12 runs but gained revenge in the Delhi Test when Anil Kumble became the second bowler in Test history to take 10 wickets in an innings. The third match between India and Pakistan was part of the new Asian Test Championship and it also included Sri Lanka. The venue was the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, a stadium which could host 100,000 spectators. However, Eden had acquired a notorious reputation in the 90s, with crowd trouble forcing the match referee in the India vs Sri Lanka 1996 World Cup semi-final to award the game to Sri Lanka. In 1999, things were going to get a lot uglier.On day 1 of the Test, a brilliant spell from Javagal Srinath reduced Pakistan to 26/6 but a superb rearguard from Moin Khan salvaged some pride for Pakistan. An 84-run stand with Saleem Malik, who chipped in with 32 and a 63-run stand with Wasim Akram (38) helped Pakistan to 185. Moin’s 70 had boosted Pakistan and on day 2, the match was evenly poised. Sadagoppan Ramesh slammed 79 but the day would be remembered for the two deliveries of Shoaib Akhtar that established him as one of the best fast bowlers at that time. Akhtar cleaned up Rahul Dravid (24) with a reverse-swinging yorker but he broke the hearts of a billion Indians when Sachin Tendulkar was cleaned up for a golden duck. India managed a lead of 38 runs. In the second innings, Pakistan stuttered but they were rescued by the brilliance of Saeed Anwar and his 115-run stand for the fourth wicket with Mohammad Yousuf (56). However, the visitors lost seven wickets for 54 runs with Javagal Srinath taking 8/86 to finish with 13 in the match. Anwar remained unbeaten on 188 as Pakistan gave India a target of 279. On day 4, India was coasting at 143/2 but it was at that moment that an incident took place which turned the game ugly.Tendulkar run-out and a riotWasim Akram was bowling the 43rd over and on the third ball, Tendulkar flicked a full ball on his pads to the deep midwicket fence. The fielder, substitute Nadeem Khan, gave chase and Tendulkar casually turned around for the third run and he approached the crease. However, at that time, Shoaib Akhtar was running in to back-up the throw from the fielder. As he came across, Tendulkar collided with Akhtar and the ball hit the stumps directly. The third umpire was called into play and replays showed that Tendulkar’s bat was in the air and he had not reached the crease. The third umpire gave it out and what followed was a riot. The crowd pelted Akhtar with bottles and other items and started chanting ‘cheat, cheat’.The players walked off and early tea was taken. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the-then ICC president and Tendulkar personally pleaded to the crowd to allow the match to resume.After being delayed for 67 minutes, India lost Mohammad Azharuddin and Dravid and momentum swung towards Pakistan. February 20 was the final day of the match and all hopes rested on Sourav Ganguly. When he fell to Akram for 24, the crowd vented their anger again. Spectators started burning newspapers in the stands and hurled stones, fruit and plastic bottles on to the field. The match was held up for over three hours as about 65,000 people were removed by police and security men. The police resorted to lathi-charge and chased the spectators outside the stadium, drawing sharp criticism.The sight of the match ending in a near empty stand was heart-breaking and India lost the match by 46 runs. A stadium which had a capacity of 100,000 ended with just 200 people.The end of the match drew criticism. Dalmiya, who had not criticised the crowd earlier, was more vocal this time. Akram, the Pakistan captain lambasted the Indian media while other foreign publications criticised the police action. Eden Gardens was blacklisted for two years following the incident and the next match took place in March 2001 against Australia, a match that witnessed a miracle due to VVS Laxman’s 281.last_img read more

Kayla Treanor and Halle Majorana earn IWLCA All-American honors

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse senior attacks Kayla Treanor and Halle Majorana were named All-Americans by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association. Treanor earned first-team honors while Majorana earned second-team honors.Treanor leads the team in points (84), goals (46) and assists (38). She’s also a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award for the third straight year and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the third straight season. Majorana is second in points (70) and assists (30) and is fourth in goals (40).This is Treanor’s fourth straight year being named a first-team All-American, the first time in program history a player has done so. She is just the fifth Syracuse athlete to be a four-time first-team All-American, joining wrestler Gene Mills, swimmers Liz Vilbert and Miroslav Vucetic and men’s lacrosse player Mike Powell.No. 4 seed Syracuse (18-5, 5-2 ACC) plays No. 5 seed Southern California (20-0, 9-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Published on May 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langerlast_img read more

Middle Tennessee State’s Nick King flourishing after battling health problems

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 20, 2018 at 10:20 pm Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34 UPDATED: Feb. 21, 2018 at 12:10 a.m.Nick King couldn’t stop coughing. His coughs turned into coughing spasms, which turned into vomiting. At one point, his throat was so sore that he had no desire to eat and lost 15 pounds in the span of seven days.It got so bad that he couldn’t perform daily functions or sleep and even had to stop doing the thing he loved most — playing basketball for Alabama. So, the junior forward went to the hospital, where it took a few days to figure out what was going on.Eventually, King was diagnosed with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a staph bacteria infection that usually occurs in people who spend time in health care settings, per the Mayo Clinic, in his lungs. He was shut down for the next two weeks, and after that rehabbed. By the time rehab was over, the season was almost over, and there was no point in coming back.One year and a new team later, King, now a fifth-year senior at Middle Tennessee State, leads the Blue Raiders in scoring, at 21.4 points per game, and rebounding, with 8.4 a night. He’s played in each of MTSU’s 27 games this year after playing a combined seven games over the past two seasons at Alabama and has his team in the driver’s seat of Conference-USA. It’s a stark change from his first four years of college, when he averaged just 6.9 points per game and struggled to find time on the court.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe 37th-overall recruit in the class of 2013 per ESPN and the 4th-best from the state of Tennessee, King originally committed to his hometown team of Memphis. He began his college career averaging 16 points in his first three games, but didn’t start a game and scored double-digit points just twice the rest of the season. The following year, as a sophomore, he started seven games, averaging just under 19 minutes and 7.2 points per game. It wasn’t enough.“I just felt like I didn’t have a good opportunity,” King said, “And I needed to get away from home and get in a program that fit me more.”So, King transferred to the University of Alabama, where he was drawn to head coach Avery Johnson’s NBA pedigree. He fell in love with the town of Tuscaloosa and the campus itself, which hosted him for his first-ever official college visit. He sat out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules but was ready to go for the Crimson Tide in the fall of 2016.He only played in seven games for Alabama, starting the last two in which he combined for 32 minutes. He’d ramped up from 12 minutes total in his first two. He wasn’t healthy though, and even during his last two contests he felt the effects of the condition. After scoring just 23 points total during the season, King’s junior year abruptly came to an end.Once diagnosed with MRSA, King began receiving antibiotics and treatment for the infection. He got to the point where he was able to work out but couldn’t practice with the team. Along with the medical attention he received, King said, the ability to still play basketball while rehabbing helped him get through the sickness. He was left with just one year of eligibility remaining, however, and decided to transfer again, this time to Middle Tennessee. The opportunity to be in a program where’d he both be able to succeed individually and have a chance to play in the NCAA tournament in his last year of college was too good to pass up.“After he left Memphis we fired a shot (but) he still kind of had the Power Five in his blood,” MTSU head coach Kermit Davis said. “Then when he made the decision to leave Alabama and got the release, we were there the next day.”Even though recruiting King originally was a long shot, the Raiders were able to catch him after he left Alabama in part, Davis thinks, because of the “perfect fit” King could serve at power forward.MTSU had been led by forwards JaCorey Williams and Reggie Upshaw the year before, two players with similar builds as King. The team had reached the NCAA tournament as a No. 12 seed and upset Minnesota in the first round, and it wasn’t the first time the Raiders had been paced by their frontcourt. Since the 2013-14 season, between Williams, Upshaw and Shawn Jones, MTSU’s leading scorer has been a forward standing either 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8 inches tall.Jones won C-USA player of the year in 2014, while Williams is the reigning player of the year in the conference. King, who is 6-7, was an easy addition for the Raiders, who lost both Williams and Upshaw to graduation.“Middle Tennessee is a perfect fit for an undersized 4-man who can stretch the floor,” senior guard Edward Simpson said. “Once (King) saw the system, spoke with JaCorey, who was also a transfer last year, it made his decision a lot easier.”Finally healthy and getting an opportunity in the perfect offensive system for him, King has thrived. Leading C-USA in both field goals made and attempted, King’s efficiency hasn’t wavered, as his field goal percentage is his highest since his freshman year and his 3-point percentage is his highest ever. In his past three games, three MTSU wins, he’s averaged 25.7 points and 10.7 rebounds while shooting 8-16 from 3.The stretch is part of the Raiders’ nine-game winning streak that has upped their conference record to 14-1 and their overall record to 22-5. King has a good chance to win MTSU’s third player of the year award in five years, while the Raiders look primed to make their third-straight NCAA tournament appearance. After four years of frustration and uncertainty, King is finally achieving what he’s wanted to accomplish since high school.“I haven’t been able to show what I can do since I’ve been in college,” King said. “(Now), I’ve got an opportunity and taken full advantage … my goal this season is just to win. Win the conference, win the conference tournament, do everything we can to have a great year.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the time frame in which Nick King could win his third player of the year award was misstated. If he wins this season, King would receive the award for the third time in five years. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Commentslast_img read more