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Can’t wait to be King

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By Dana Finkler
Collegiate Staff Writer

The King title screencapCheck out our exclusive documentary on KingDamon Antoine, “The King” by Dana Finkler.


As a part of a final project for my fundamentals of public relations course with Dennis Sutton, we were required to work with a non-profit campaign.

Our group chose The Grand Rapids Youth Boxing Association or MLK, and I can honestly say I got more out of it than just a grade. I found an amazing story.

KingDamon Antoine is a 19-year-old freshman at Grand Rapids Community College. He was originally named Damon by his mother Shaunnah, but his father gave him the name King, saying one day he would live up to his name. Antoine has three younger brothers Dashon, Dylan, and Damonte.

He and his family moved from Akron, Ohio to Grand Rapids, MI this summer in hopes of an opportunity for him to play football for the Raiders.

After a long summer trying out for the team it was decided that Antoine would be redshirted.

“In the offense that Coach Annese ran we only used two slot receivers and at the time we were already solidified at the position,” said former GRCC defensive coordinator Curtis Andrews. “He’s an all-around athlete and a great kid.”

After the news came down that the football program was canceled, Antoine found out via text message.

“I was like this is how it’s going to go down?” Antoine said. ”I’m the type of person – I don’t let anything stop me. I’m hungry. I have to do what I have to do to help provide for my family.”

Now without football, Antoine had to find a new opportunity. After googling local gyms and being an adamant Floyd Mayweather fan he found boxing. Antoine joined the GR Youth Boxing and began training.

One of the biggest events GR Youth Boxing competes in is the annual Golden Gloves tournament. Antoine is a novice fighter and competed in the 145 lb. division.

Throughout the tournament Antoine dominated his opponents.

In his second and third fights he threw a flurry of punches winning both matches by referee stoppage and winning in dominating fashion. He would advance to the state final and face Dan Southerland.

The fight went three rounds and was decided by the judges. In the end, Antoine’s hand was raised in victory.

Throughout the tournament I was able to document his story. Earlier in the tournament, Antoine found out he would be a dad.

After his victory I followed him backstage and was able to capture a special moment. Overcome with emotion, Antoine let out tears of joy and was embraced with a warm hug from his mother.

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