East Poinsett County freshman Malik Monk hasn't played his first high school basketball game yet, but he has a AAU national championship ring on the way.
Monk (6-3, 170) – the brother of former Arkansas two-sport star Marcus Monk – was part of the Arkansas Wings' national title squad that won the title earlier this week in Orlando, Fla.
"I didn't get to play a lot, but it was great to be a part of winning a national title and it was a great summer for me," Monk said. "I am just trying to get better every day."
Monk was part of a loaded group of underclassmen that attended the Razorbacks' Elite Camp on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
He joined Aurora (CO) Overland freshman star DeRon Davis (6-8, 215) – arguably the nation's best 2016 prospect – along with Little Rock McClellan center Maxwell Omili (6-8, 230) and North Little Rock sophomore KeVaughn Allen (who did not participate in camp).
Fellow 2016 prospect Nnamid Collins of Little Rock McClellan also just looked on, but 2015 Colorado prospects Troy Green (6-6) and Austin Conway (5-9) did and shined.
The Jonesboro duo of junior point guard Kahron Ross (5-10) and shooting guard Marquise Bryant (6-1), the Memphis Hamilton brother pair of junior K.J. Lawson (6-6) and sophomore Dedric Lawson (6-7), sophomores Jamario Bell (6-6, 225) of Junction City, K.J. Hill of Bryant and Kansas City's Kevin Puryear and McCellan junior Gregg Easter (6-0) were in camp.
The event also included Fayetteville senior guard Manuale Watkins (6-3), son of Arkansas assistant Melvin Watkins and the top 2013 prospect on hand.
"It was fun being up here today with all these guys and having some great competition," Monk said. "I had a lot of fun."
Monk spent most of his summer playing for the 16-and-under Wings.
"I don't have the big head and my brother would let me have it if I got one," Monk said. "I'm just going to stay humble."
Monk and senior Jamar Sturdivant will be trying to follow the footsteps of current Razorback hoopster Rashad Madden and freshman football player A.J. Turner.
"Those guys won two state titles in a row and hopefully we can make it three in a row," Monk said. "We just have to work hard and get better every day. I know I have to work on my defense and stay low."
Monk does have a favorite that should come as no surprise.
"I really love Coach Anderson and hopefully I get a chance to come up here and be a Razorback," Monk said. "That's what I want to happen."
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