Malik Newman, one of the top guards in the nation, showcased his three-point scoring ability during the summer AAU circuit. During the Rumble In The South high school tournament against Madison Central High School he showed another aspect of his offensive game, driving to the basket. He explained the reason why he drove more to the basket in that game.
"(During the summer AAU season) guards kind of play me softer, so they kind of gave me the three (point shot)," said Malik. "(In) this game, the main thing was to get (Madison Center High School junior center) Joniah (White) in foul trouble. That would help prevent him from coming in and blocking a shot. In the first half, I let Tre (Treshawn Bolden) get him into foul trouble. In the second half, (the Madison Central coach) put all these guards in so I tried to get them into foul trouble and Tre just worked on Joniah. When they went to man (defense) I could then go to Joniah."
The strategy worked because not only did his team win the game, but he scored 27 points, 11 off of free throws.
Because of his talent, Malik is being recruited by colleges from coast to coast. His dad, Horatio Webster, is taking care of the recruiting part and letting Malik simply enjoy playing basketball.
"I am able to control it because they can't call me, so I have to call them," said Horatio. "They'll send a message through the AAU coaches or (Callaway High School head) Coach (Wayne) Brent. And it's up to me to call them back. I'm returning all the calls right now, but sooner or later I'm not because he will narrow it down."
As of now, Malik is not even interested in who is calling or narrowing the list down.
"I don't tell Malik about the calls, and he never asks about them," said Horatio.
But basically, the calls are really nothing more than coaches letting Malik know they are interested in him.
"They tell me that they are interested in him and that they like everything about him," said Horatio. "I listen to them and tell them thanks for calling about him and for being interested in my son."
While the talent is obvious based on the interest he is receiving, Malik is not a player who is happy just to play the game. He wants to be the absolute best player that he can be and he works hard at being that type player.
"He's usually in the gym by 6 am but lately I've shut it down a little bit because he was losing his legs," said Horatio. "(But) he's still always trying to get me to take him to the gym either early in the morning or late at night."
Despite being a former two-time All-SEC basketball player at Mississippi State, Horatio is low key about how much he can offer his son when it comes to playing the game of basketball.
"I'm really just a rebounder for him," said Horatio. "I can sow him a few tips here and there and I can see things in a game that I can help him with."
Keep it on Scout.com/GenesPage.com as we continue to follow the recruitment of Malik, one of the most talented basketball players in the high school ranks.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.