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A few weeks back, we reached out to Nottingham High point guard Malik Zachery, a rising star in the basketball recruiting class of 2017, about keeping us up to date on how his burgeoning recruitment is playing out. The rising junior is quickly making a name for himself, and recently he and his Albany City Rocks 16U team took part in the Boo Williams Tournament and, well, we’ll let Malik tell you how it went.

Hello world,

First off I would like to thank Otto’s Grove for reaching out to me in the past and once again to inquire about how things are going. I would like to say that it is a true blessing to be given the opportunity to share my experiences. Thank you to everyone that has been positive along the way so far. I really appreciate all the love and support.

I think my sophomore high school season went pretty well. As a team we won our league for the first time in many years and we finished 17-4 overall. We went from a pretty difficult year my freshman year to being ranked high in the state. We ended up losing in the semifinals of the section playoffs in a game that we were up 16 points in. We were actually winning the entire game until five seconds left in regulation when the game was tied on a layup. We ended up losing in overtime. I felt like I let my team down because I had three fouls in the first half and I fouled out in the fourth quarter of the game. We were up nine points when I fouled out with around two minutes left in the fourth. It was definitely a leaning experience and I blame myself for the loss because I should have adjusted better to the way the game was being called for us. I’m going to try my best to never let that happen again.

I would like to give a huge shot out to all of the seniors on my team and I wish them the best in all of their future experiences. Winning the league was a very good team accomplishment. Our team stuck together and won some very good games this year. I think I had a good year but I’m always looking to improve on my game and just get better in all areas. I ended up averaging 17 points, about five assists, and about three steals per game. I was selected as 1st Team All-League. That was an honor and a blessing to make first team as a sophomore. I say overall we had a pretty good year as a team and I’m going to stay in the gym to try to continue to work on getting better.

As far as school goes next year I have been given the opportunity to gain interest from quite a few different prep schools. I would like to thank all of the coaches who have reached out to possibly give me a different opportunity. I’m probably going to visit St. Benedict’s Prep at some point this week and work out with the team. That is an absolute blessing to be given that opportunity because they are a great school with a lot of tradition. Players such as Tyler Ennis and Isaiah Briscoe went there, just to name a few. So to be asked to come down to check out the school is just an absolute blessing. They also play about a 35 game schedule against many national teams. I think they are playing in the City of Palms Tournament in Florida, too. I’m sick right now so I’m trying to rest up and get better so I can have a productive visit. At this point who knows what will happen, but I’m just extremely thankful for all of these opportunities.

As far as AAU is concerned, I play for the Albany City Rocks. It’s great to play on a team with great chemistry and a team where everybody gets along with each other. So far we played in a one-day scrimmage tournament at Life Center Academy and we just recently won the Boo Williams Tournament down in Hampton, Virginia. At Life Center Academy we beat a very good Team Final team. We only played two games there and that was a great warm-up tournament. I have nothing but praise to say about the Boo Williams Tournament. Many people consider that tournament to be one of the best tournaments in the country, so to win that was an absolute great feeling. The tournament was filled with only Nike sponsored teams and many of the best teams and players in the country were there. Everywhere you turned, there were college coaches. Any coach or college you can think of was probably there. Even though I played in it last year, this year was an even better experience because we won the whole thing. We now probably have a target on our backs because we are currently the No. 1 ranked team in the country. We are all going to have to continue to work hard and step it up but I know we are all up for the challenge. I’m going to hit the gym as much as possible. Learning and improving never stops. Shout out to all my City Rocks teammates and coaches. Until next time, see you all in Kentucky this week for the second EYBL session.

Peace and thanks,

Malik Zachery

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