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Posted On: 08/8/18 9:41 PM
It’d be hard to find a player who raised his stock more in the past year than Maleeck Harden.
Harden, a 6-foot-5 forward from Moorhead, spent the summer playing with ECI out of North Dakota and flashed big-time potential. ECI was one of the top teams in the Dakotas and Harden’s two-way ability was a big factor.
“It went very well this summer,” Harden said of playing with ECI. “We ended up clicking at the end of the season. It was an awesome experience for me. I felt like playing with ECI would benefit me a ton and it definitely did.”
Harden’s a freaky athlete and he put those gifts to use with greater frequency this summer. He’s improved as a long-range shooter but he’s at his best when he’s attacking, playing in transition and using his length and quickness to be disruptive defensively.
“I’m a lot better,” Harden said of his game compared to a year ago. “Ball handling, shooting, I’ve gotten stronger. I’m more mentally in the game; I’ve learned a lot. A lot of things have come together for me.”
It wasn’t long ago that Harden was starting to garner Division II looks. His development has come fast and furious to the point that he’s now drawing even higher interest.
“I just recently cut down my schools to MSUM, Sioux Falls, NDSU and SDSU,” Harden said. “So I’m focused on those schools and I’ll see where that takes me. I’ve not yet taken visits to SDSU or Sioux Falls but I’ve been around NDSU and MSUM. For me, I don’t feel any rush to commit right away. The fall signing period would be what most people would like to do but if it goes beyond that, that’d be fine with me. We’ll see what happens.”
Still, he’s not an entirely finished product. Harden said there are parts of his game he wants to continue developing this fall heading into his senior year.
“I need to get bigger and stronger still, and I’d like to shoot the ball more,” said Harden. “If I can shoot it more efficiently, I can space the floor and get to the rack which is my game. Getting better every day is what it’s all about now.”