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Posted On: 10/20/18 9:30 AM
The Waseca Bluejays have been one of the best teams in the state over the last three years and head into the 2018-19 season as a top-five team in Class AAA. The constant in that success is point guard Malik Willingham.
Willingham is one of the top available prospects in the 2019 class and a dark horse Mr. Basketball candidate for the upcoming winter season. He had a terrific summer playing with Minnesota Select where he put up massive numbers and was the focal point for a team that competed in quality tournaments every weekend.
“The summer with Select was great,” said Willingham. “I had a lot of fun with them and going out and playing against some of the best in the country. I had to learn what the team was like compared to the others but I adjusted well and they helped me do my thing on the court.”
Willingham’s had quite a high school career already for the Bluejays, playing in a complementary role as a freshman when Waseca went to state before sharing the go-to scoring role with Kaleb Nelson as a sophomore. He was the unquestioned leader for a young Bluejay squad last winter and nearly led them to the state tournament again. In that time, his game has evolved from being a shoot-first, shoot-second and so on to a much more cerebral player who not only can pile up points, but also make his teammates better.
“I feel like my IQ got better, defense, driving and just being a smarter player than last year,” said Willingham.
Willingham is a highly sought-after player at the Division II level and just picked up offers from Concordia St. Paul and Montana-Billings last week.
“Recruiting is going well,” said Willingham. “I just got offered by some great schools and I’m just enjoying every moment right now.”
In the meantime, Willingham’s excited about the upcoming winter season where he’s got high hopes.
“My expectations are very high,” said Willingham. “We came up short to the state tournament but a lot of teams/people never thought we’d make it that far but this year we pretty much have the same team and feel like we can do something big for not just us but Waseca and the community.”