By John Boyle
Poor Jack King.
He was a good enough guy back in his high school days, according to an old teammate, but then one day many years ago, he became the first victim of Bam Bam.
You see, before Kam Chancellor could deal punishing blows to the likes of Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Todd Heap, he had to have his first big hit, and that came when Chancellor was playing for Maury High School in Norfolk, Va. Believe it or not, Chancellor said he wasn’t always the best hitter. It took a lot of missed tackles and lecture from his defensive backs coach who pulled Chancellor aside for an exhausting drill, and yes, Jack King, for Chancellor to start the transition to Bam Bam.
We’ll let him take over from here.
“I was missing a lot of tackles… I was trying to hit guys and was missing, no technique, no nothing. So one day at practice he had me running full speed down the field 100 yards hitting a dummy. So I got tired of that, I’m like, ‘I’m ready now, I’m ready. I’m tired of this.’”
“So we get in practice, and a guy named Jack King—I still remember it to this day, he’ll tell you the same thing—a guy named Jack King, played running back for us, played corner, awesome guy, but he was running the ball, and I had to really deliver a shot on the man. It kind of hurt, but that was my first big hit.
“It hurt, I ain’t gonna lie, it hurt man. But just coming to my coach and seeing him happy—he saw me do something different, he saw my game elevate a little more—it made him happy and made me happy.
Asked if it hurt emotionally or physically to hit his friend, Chancellor said, “At the time, it was emotion, it was rage, everything. I was just tired from hitting a dummy back and forth. It definitely wasn’t anything personal. He understood.”