Sunday, March 24, 2013

MALIK MONK: Arkansas Freshman Unleashes his Shaolin Style!!!

MALIK MONK: Class of 2016

Written by: Prospect-Central

"The game of basketball, is like a sword fight. You must think first, before you move. Monk's style is immensely strong, and immune to nearly any weapon. When properly used, it's almost invincible!" -  Wu-Tang Clan

Monk is part of the USA Basketball pipeline
Malik Monk doesn't practice the art of Kung-Fu, but he certainly attacks the rim with fists of fury. If high school basketball was the equivalent to the Chinese fighting style, Monk would be a Grand Master.

If you don't know who Malik Monk is yet, you will soon enough. Back in July, Monk was selected to Prospect-Central's inaugural Freshmen Watch List, but it was the following month when he really burst onto the scene. He was invited to the USA Basketball U16 tryouts, and parlayed that experience into an outstanding freshman season.

Monk recently led East Poinsett County to the Arkansas AA State Championship Finals. Despite averaging 29 ppg throughout the tournament, Monk and the Warriors came up just short. They lost a nail bitter to Cedar Ridge High School, 58-56, and will no doubt use that as motivation moving forward.

When trying to describe the game of Malik Monk, two words come to mind, "Elite Athlete." I know this phrase is used far too often in high school scouting reports, but there's no other way around it. He's not only one of the most athletic freshmen in the country, he's probably one of the most athletic players period.

With an explosive first step and a 40-inch vertical leap, Monk's high flying semantics are truly breathtaking. Like a ninja waiting to strike, Monk attacks the basket with no remorse. He excels in transition, finishes well above the rim, and is nearly impossible to keep out of the lane. He might not be a Crouching Tiger, but he's definitely a Hidden Dragon.

Monk is definitely a high flyer to say the least
Besides his incredible hops, Monk's all around game is quite polished as well. He makes plays off the bounce, has a nice mid-range jumper, can stroke the 3-ball, rebounds well for his position, and is an excellent defender. He needs to work on his shot selection, but he's definitely a player. The one area of concern however, he's only 6-foot-3. That's not horrible size for a shooting guard, but if he can grow a couple more inches, we might be talking about a Top 10 player in the country.

Monk certainly has the genes of an elite athlete. His older brother Marcus played basketball & football at the University of Arkansas, and was actually drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2008. Like Marcus, Malik also played football this past season, but it's basketball where his future lies. Marcus might be 3-inches taller than his younger brother, but I'm sure he'll even tell you that Malik's the better player.

Even though Monk was selected as a Pre-Season Freshman All-American back in October, he actually might be underrated. While he's currently in the Top 30 for the Class of 2016, it's clear he's taken his game to another level. Arkansas & Florida have already offered, and he'll more than likely move up in Prospect-Central's new rankings next month. For the time being however, high school basketball better get used to the Shaolin Style of Malik Monk!

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