Friday, December 9, 2011

MALIK NEWMAN: The Fabulous Freshman Backing up the Hype!!!

Malik Newman: Class of 2015

Written by: Jason Hickman & Prospect-Central

In August, Prospect-Central featured ten high school freshmen from the class of 2015 to keep an eye on for the future.  It appears the future is now for one of those freshmen.  Malik Newman has been dominating the competition in his first month of high school basketball and he doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.  He is the leading scorer for the Callaway Chargers (22.6 ppg) as well as second overall for the entire freshman class. So far so good, but the season is far from over and it's yet to be determined if he can sustain this superb play.  As of right now however, it seems Malik Newman is deserving of the selection for #1 player in the class of 2015, even though he's held that spot ever since Prospect-Central's first rankings in July. * Below is an article written by Jason Hickman from

After building a national reputation by dominating middle school showcases and camps over the past couple of years, Malik Newman was named the No. 1 player in the Class of 2015 by Hoop Scoop last month.

Too much, too soon is an argument for another day, but the attention isn't burdening the 15-year-old freshman at Callaway (Jackson, Miss) through the first month of his high school career.

Newman, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound guard, is averaging 22.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists through nine games for Callaway (7-2), a perennial powerhouse in Mississippi. Saturday at an event in Dyersburg, Tenn., he pumped in 24 points – including five 3-pointers – against nationally-ranked Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.).

"He's just one of those rare kids that comes along every 10 years or so," Callaway head coach Wayne Brent said. "He can really score it and handles the ball well. He's a scoring point-combo guard. His work ethic is really, really, really good. He's in the gym at 5 a.m. every morning. It's unbelievable."

Callaway was the home to another middle school phenom during the 2007-08 season. LaQuinton Ross – now a freshman at Ohio State – entered high school regarded as a mega-star in the making and was also regarded as the top player in his class. He struggled with the expectations and was eventually dismissed by some as a Top 100 player altogether. Ross left Callaway for Murrah High School in Jackson as a sophomore and eventually wound up at Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J.

Brent doesn't expect the same type of growing pains for Newman.

"I think there are a lot of kids that don't know how to handle those rankings," Brent said. "It motivates him, motivates him to get up and be in the gym at 5 a.m. every morning. It hasn't bothered him at all. I think it actually helps him stay motivated."

Callaway features several collegiate prospects, including 6-8, 225-pound junior TreShawn Bolden, but integrating Newman into a leading role hasn't been an issue.

"He's never played against guys his age, he's always played against older kids," Brent said. "He is real respectful and works hard. They know he is in the gym at 5 a.m. every morning and they don't necessarily want to do that.

"I didn't want to deal with a kid that had the hype but didn't want to work. He embraced it more than anything. That's what made me take a liking to the kid. We have hard-nosed, tough kids in our program and he fits that mold."

Newman's season-high came against Nov. 17 in a 61-45 win over Bailey Magnet (Jackson), going for 32 points to go along with six rebounds and six steals. His father, Horatio Webster, was a two-time All-SEC pick at Mississippi State in 1996-97 and 1997-98 as a 6-8 power forward. Webster later played professionally in Venezuela and in the ABA.  Original Article.

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