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Posted On: 02/20/18 5:00 AM
There’s a short list of freshman who have made major impacts on 4A squads this season, and Des Moines North guard Malik Allen is square on it.
And not only is he a key player for a 4A squad at such a young age, but he’s a key piece to one of the better 4A teams in the state.
The slashing 5-foot-9 guard defined his strengths to PHIA, and how it is he makes such an impact.
“I’m a slasher and a defender. I feel like I’m pretty good at attacking the rim and driving and kicking,” said Allen. “And we have good shooters, like Jahion and G-Baby (Gatdoar Bijiek), and they space the floor a lot, so I can attack the lane.”
He added: “I need to keep working on my shot, and getting it more consistent at the varsity level.”
What’s most impressive about the freshman sensation, is that he’s shooting a stellar 49 percent from the floor. Many freshman struggle with their shooting percentage in their year rookie season with the varsity: not Malik Allen.
“I’m a good finisher from around the paint,” he said. “And I have a knack for finishing over big guys, even though I’m shorter.”
Allen, who is averaging 5.4 points and 1.3 steals per game for the 3rd-ranked Polar Bears, says it was a summer spent preparing that got him most ready for his big-time freshman season.
“Coming in after my eighth-grade year, Coach (Chad) Ryan already had a plan for me. He already knew I’d be a piece because we lost some seniors last year. And over the summer, we played a ton of games, and the chemistry was there,” said Allen.
“I always knew ‘Reke (junior guard Tyreke Locure) and them growing up, so I’m like a little brother on the team; it’s fun.”
And with the Polar Bears getting ready to try and make another run to the state tourney, Allen says the team is confident they can make a lot of noise over the next few weeks.
“We’re confident, we feel like if we just talk on defense more, we’ll be good. Because our offense is already there, we just got to get our defense right and we feel like nobody can stop us.”
As soon as his freshman season is complete, Allen will head right into his 15U season, and that’s when he’ll see the exposure start to ramp-up.
He says he’ll play with Kingdom Hoops this spring and summer.
“I’ve been playing with Kingdom since last year and we have a pretty good young group, and a really good backcourt,” said Allen.
“My goal is to get a couple offers, get more looks and just show-out this summer when we go out of town, and make people know my name.”