Her enthusiasm is contagious, her excitement palpable. It’s been 18 years since Paulette King-Morin last played basketball at Florida Tech.
The Jamaican born 5-9 star was a two-time All-American, while leading the program to their first two Sunshine Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships. From 1991-93, she also guided them to their first two appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Her accolades as a player earned her induction into the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame and the SSC Hall of Fame.
Today, King-Morin still lives her life in the same manner she used to play, with passion, dedication and drive. Success has followed her wherever she’s gone.
“FIT pushed me to be better in every aspect of life,” King said. “I was a real student-athlete. It wasn’t all about basketball. It was about life, and I loved every minute of it!”
Filmmaking has been her latest calling and she has thrived in the new endeavor. Last year, her movie “False Sense of Security” won FLORIDA TODAY’s 90 Seconds to Fame short film contest. Most recently, an old story once told by her grandmother has led to her first feature film, “The Incredible Banana.” The motion picture that deals with learning to enjoy the simple things in life earned first place in the People’s Choice category and the Robin & Eddy Independent Spirit Award at the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival this past weekend.
King-Morin’s film was selected among 237 entries from out of state locations like Los Angeles and other countries, including Canada and France.
“I’m so happy, I just can’t believe I won first place,” an excited King said. “But you can’t rest on your laurels, life passes by too fast. I have other awards I want to win.”
These awards include a Sundance Film Festival accolade and an Oscar. A lot of people might shudder with skepticism at these wishes, but they would be naive to believe King-Morin isn’t capable of reaching those goals. Reaching goals is what her life has been all about.
“Coach (John) Reynolds always said everybody fed off my energy and will power,” she said. “I still like to think of myself as that person. I have never failed at one of my goals. Life has always found a way to make things fall into place.”
Women’s basketball coach John Reynolds saw King-Morin’s development with his own eyes and is not surprised of the success his former pupil has achieved off the court.
“The intensity and desire that she used to play with has now been translated to her everyday life,” Reynolds said. “She always had a way to meet every challenge head on. I would never put anything against Paulette, she’s just too special.”
King-Morin names God, life and her children as her main inspiration. She can still be seen in the stands during basketball season. She still carries the lessons learned at her alma mater wherever she goes, teaching them to whoever wishes to learn.
“Life is a very precious thing,” she said. “We have to live to the fullest extent. All of us can achieve whatever we put our minds into.”
Wise words indeed.