Malik Hairston, a 6-foot-6, 175-pound small forward from Renaissance High School in Detroit, Michigan had a great showing at the Nike Memorial Day Classic. The Family advanced to the Elite Eight of the tournament, but ran into a tough Illinois Warriors team that played an intense zone defense.
Overall, Hairston was the third leading scorer at the MDC. He poured in 21 points a game and did so in a variety of ways. When he was not hitting from the outside, he was attacking the basket with authority.
There were times during the tournament when Hairston relied too much on his outside shot, but he kept shooting the ball and eventually the shots started falling. He is not the type of player that gets flustered when things are not going his way.
If Hairston starts putting the ball on the floor more and penetrates to the basket, his game will be much more complete, he will be that much more dangerous on the court and he will be more effective.
“I played pretty well during the Nike Memorial Day Classic,” Hairston told RivalsHoops.com. “I didn’t leave satisfied because we didn’t win the tournament. The game against the Illinois Warriors was tough because our shots were not falling and their zone really slowed is down.”
There is no doubt that the Warrior zone caused The Family many problems. On that particular night, their shots were not falling and they had trouble penetrating the zone. The Family made a late run in the last two minutes of the game, but the Warriors pulled away in overtime.
As far as his recruitment goes, Hairston is hearing from plenty of high major schools. He will start putting together a definite list after he takes the ACT on June 14.
“UCLA, Michigan State and Purdue are the schools that visited me during the contact period,” he said. “As far as my recruitment goes, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana are recruiting me right now,” he added. “I’m taking the ACT on June 14th, so I’ll probably start taking my official visits next fall.
"I am wide open right now. I just want to work on my game, get better and hopefully more schools will get involved,” he added.
Hairston is already going over the process in his mind and putting together some key elements that he will look for when he does start taking some official visits.
“I’m trying to decide what I’d like to major in,” he said. “I also want to attend a school that’s got a great basketball program and a school where I’ll feel comfortable with the players, coaches and environment.”
Most of the schools recruiting Hairston envision him playing the one, two and three spot, which is fine with him. The more time on the court he sees the better.
As far as Hairston goes, his game is exciting to watch. He plays with a real passion and desire, which makes him that much more effective.
On Sunday morning, he scored 23 points and did so in a variety of ways. After scoring a meager three points in the first half, he exploded for 20 in the second and looked almost unstoppable.
“I try to work on every aspect of my game so I can be a complete, versatile player,” he said. “I really like to mix my game up.”