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Posted On: 11/23/18 12:00 PM
A strong sophomore season followed by an opportunity to play with Team Lillard on the adidas Gauntlet has set up Malakai Harris to be one of the better up-and-coming wings in Northern California.
The athletic 6-foot-6 small forward embraces a team-first mentality, and it’s his jumper and ability to finish that are eye-opening about his game.
“When I’m out there on the floor, I just want to play hard and try and get the win. Things that I’m best at are shooting, driving and trying to contribute to my team as much a I can,” said Harris.
“Things I need to work on are doing better on the defensive end of the court, get a faster first step, and dribbling and attacking more.”
With Team Lillard 16U this past spring and summer, Harris was a reserve, he was able to get some experience on the perimeter and from the block against some of the best comp in the country.
“The opportunity was great, traveling was good, I met a lot of good people,”said Harris. “They had me at small forward playing the wing and sometimes on the block. It was a great experience”
As a sophomore with, Harris averaged 13 points per game for the Indians. His junior season should be starting now, but all of the early games have been cancelled because of bad air quality due the the California Fires.
When the season does get rolling, Harris will be relied upon heavily to score the ball, and lead.
“I’m going to have to take the ball and shoot more, and look to score instead of being a pass-first player. The team is holding me accountable to score. I’m looking forward to a really good season,” he said.
Then, Harris will be right back to the Gauntlet where he’s hoping to use a successful 17U season to open up some eyes of college coaches around the nation. So far, the recruitment has been slow.
“There’s been a couple coaches from New York and Texas that have been in touch with my coach. Cornell has been in contact with my counselor, they want to look at my grades and all that type of stuff,” said Harris.
“My goals right now are just to keep my grades up and try and go as far as we can this season as far as high school basketball. And then just get back on the Gauntlet and try and play my best and get some more offers under my belt, and just play hard and try and prove everyone wrong that has doubted me.”