Born in Tacoma, Washington, Malachi Flynn has just begun his sophomore campaign for the Washington State Men’s Basketball team. The 6’1, 170 lb. point guard attended Bellarmine Prep where he played Varsity ball for three years. His 1,625 points rank second in school history. During his senior year, he averaged nearly 30 points per game, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. dnd drow names
He scored a total of 743 points in his final year and that passed the mark set by current NBA player, Avery Bradley. He received a number of accolades following his senior year, including Washington state player of the year by the Associated Press, AP first team all-State, and Washington Interscholastic Coaches’ Association 4A Player of the year. Fortunately, he chose Washington State to continue his basketball career.
It is no surprise that Flynn is off to a hot start this season because he started every game with four seniors as a freshman. In his first year with the Cougars, he averaged nearly 10 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds a game. In 16 of his 31 games, he scored in double figures, including his career high 27 poin
ts in just his seventh game. In this young season, most of his shooting numbers are similar, but his point production has gone up to 17.9 and his assists are up to 4.7. Malachi has his team off to a rather hot start and I caught him after practice this past week for a little off court one on one.
Following his freshman year, Flynn was invited to try out for the USA U19 team. I wanted to know what that experience was like competing with great talent from across the nation. “It was a huge experience, playing with some of the best talent in the country right now and playing with that high level of competition.” He was chosen among some of the best high school recruits and college players in the nation.
Some of which included a few Kentucky players and potential lottery picks in the upcoming NBA drafts. The head coach of the team was John Calipari. So not only was he playing against phenomenal players, but he was also being taught by one of the most accomplished coaches in college basketball. Calipari has sent 39 players to the NBA and Flynn just might be headed there soon.
The Cougars recently competed in the Wooden Legacy Tournament and Flynn was shooting 2-9 in their first matchup against Saint Joe’s. With his confidence unscathed and about 10 seconds left in regulation, Flynn hit a step back three to win the game. WSU would go on to win the tournament, and we can give a lot of credit to Flynn for that. I asked him how was able to keep his confidence so high after having a sub-par shooting performance most of the game.
“My teammates [are] always giving me confidence. I always want to shoot those shots and my teammates trust me, so that one
went down.” Flynn is one of those players that will always have the greenlight to shoot the ball. He is capable of hitting threes from 30+ feet with ease. Watching him in warmups, he enjoys taking shots from 35-40 feet to get lose and he makes most of them. I can see why his teammates continue to support him to shoot the ball.
Fortunately for the Cougars, Flynn went from 9 points in the tournament opener to 24 and 26 points the next two games, including 9 made three pointers. I asked him about his slow start in game one and what was different after that. “It could be a little bit mental, just not thinking about it,” Flynn stated. “I think I know my shots will start to fall and just staying confident is a huge thing.” Malachi had the confidence to shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor during these games.
He was hitting well contested shots one after another that most coaches would be sideways over. But with his special shooting ability, coach knows when he gets into a rhythm, he is going to fire away with a calm and collective manner.
Washington State was off to a 6-0 start until their recent loss to UC Davis. Before they played Davis, my final question for Flynn was how do you distract yourself from the media hype due to the team’s early success. “We definitely cannot get caught up in the hype. There is 25+ games left in the regular season and we plan on playing in the postseason,” Flynn proclaimed.
“A lot can happen in a season.” Unfortunately, they suffered their first loss after winning the Wooden Legacy Tournament, but there is no time to get discouraged. They play two road games this upcoming week and like Flynn said, there are many more after that. Every team suffers losses, but how you bounce back that shows what kind of team you are. Malachi Flynn is ready to take the reins and help lead this team to an NCAA Tournament appearance, and the more poised he stays, the farther this team will go.
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