May 24, 2007
Last season when Daryl Hill went down for the year with a knee injury it made the Red Storm thin at the point guard position.
While Eugene Lawrence flourished at being the team leader he was better suited as a two guard when Hill was healthy. Looking to give a the Red Storm a boost at the point guard position will be Malik Boothe out of Christ the King (NY).
It's been seven years since the Red Storm had a point guard from Christ the
King when Omar Cook manned the team for a year and Royals head coach Bob Oliva feels that Boothe can do the same thing Cook did and some.
"With Omar you had a guy who could pass the ball anywhere on the floor and get it to guys when you thought he couldn't," says Oliva. "Malik is the same way at getting guys the ball, but defensively Malik is well ahead of where Omar was at their respective ages."
Hearing of his coaches praises on his defensive prowess the 5-foot-9 Boothe adds on.
"Playing defense is something that gets me going," he says. "I know if I play hard and get a steal here and there it can trigger a team."
The 2006-2007 season saw the Royals go 26-6 with a Top 25 national ranking. "We capped off the season well," said Boothe. "We ended up as city champs and it was a good feeling, because we were able to beat Holy Cross. A team that gave us trouble all season."
In his final season with CTK, Boothe averaged eight points and 4.2 assists a game. While those numbers might not catch your eye it caught the eyes of other colleges in the country as Seton Hall, Clemson, Rhode Island all offered scholarships.
"At first didn't think the location of a school would have mattered where I would go," says Boothe. "But as time went and it was time to choose where I wanted to go I felt like it was no better place than home."
The taste of playing at home came early for him as he took part in the Jordan Brand All-American Regional Game at Madison Square Garden in April. While he finished with six points, it was his six assists that Red Storm fans were paying attention to.
"Playing in that game was great, but then while I was out there I started getting that feeling that it was my last playoff game," he says. "It would be the last time that I played with some of my high school teammates."
And if there's anyone who knows about what his incoming class can do it's Boothe and he isn't tentative to speak on his future teammates.
"I've played with Mike Cavataio and I know he'll rebound and run the floor well," he says. "And with Justin [Burrell} he can finish everything with a dunk. I haven't seen Paris [Horne] and Dele [Coker] play yet, but I know they'll do what they need to do for us to be successful next season."
"I know if I go in next season and work hard things will be fine, says Boothe.
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