Melquan Bolding Turns Corner

Melquan Bolding realizes his deficiences, whether it's on the court or in the classroom. The Stepinac High (N.Y.) junior has re-classified and is also working on his perimeter jumper in an effort to further develop his game.

Melquan Bolding didn't play a single game his sophomore year, so he understands that a prep school year is in the plan after he finishes up this season at Stepinac High (N.Y.).

``That's why I re-classified," said the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Bolding. ``I missed the whole season because of academics."

Now Bolding, who said he intends to go to American Christian (Pa.) next year, is as focused on improving his grades as he is in refining his jump shot.

``I've got to get it more consistent," Bolding said of his perimeter game. "If I do, people aren't going to be able to stop me because no one can stop me from going to the basket."

Bolding is right. He's got a terrific first step, is strong enough to finish around the hoop and is quick enough to get past defenders.

There's a reason why he welcomed Louisville coach Rick Pitino and coaches from St. John's, Villanova, Indiana, Miami and Fordham into the gym recently.

``So far everything is going well," Bolding said. "I really like St. John's. My man, Malik (Boothe), is going there and I love how he plays the game. He looks to pass first and he gets people the ball."

Bolding has taken unofficials to St. John's and Hofstra and is hoping to take one to Louisville prior to the start of the season.

As far as his work in the classroom is concerned, his average has climbed to a B since he left Beacon High and arrived at Stepinac prior to last season.

``People kept saying that I wouldn't pass my classes and it just makes me work harder," Bolding said. "Having to sit out an entire season helped get me focused."

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