During the past four years, Jackson Tigers Director and Head Coach Larry Stamps and Assistant Coach Thandi Wade have coached Malik Newman on the AAU circuit. Coach Wade talks about Newman as a player and how he has evolved over the years. He also gives his opinion about the impact Newman could have next year as a freshman on the Mississippi State basketball team.
Malik Newman as a player:
Malik has a tremendous skill set, a tremendous work ethic. Ultra competitor would be the best way to describe him.
What he saw from Malik the first time he saw him play:
I first noticed him when he was in the 8th grade and he was on the opposing team playing against older guys and he had 42 points. We beat him up pretty bad but all he did was keep making plays.
When he joined the Jackson Tigers:
He came to us when he was a 9th grader. I think he ended up with 33 points his first game with us.
How Malik has evolved over the years with the Jackson Tigers:
We have seen him improve with his focus on the game. He has always been a kid who is really good with his teammates even though he is usually one of the feature guys. But he always has blended in well with his teammates. He has become more vocal on the court. That is probably the biggest improvement that I have seen. He now talks a lot on the court.
And after his freshman year he made a commitment to improve his body with hard work. Due to that hard work his athleticism improved tremendously during that one summer. That is all about him being dedicated to improving that aspect of his game.
What Malik is like in big games:
The bigger the game, the better he plays. He lets the game come to him and he tries to get his teammates involved. When it comes to crunch time, he will typically find a way to will his team to victory.
What kind of impact Malik will have on the Mississippi State basketball team:
They will be getting a guy the other teams will have to respect due to his scoring ability. Due to that, it should open it up for the other guys. So, the biggest impact is he will make the other players better. The opposing team will have to account for him in all phases of the game.