Malcolm Wilson may be nearly seven feet tall and his wingspan may be near that length as well, but the sky is the limit for what the rising Ridge View junior is capable of on the hardwood.
“We all know that he’s raw offensively, but he’s definitely polished defensively,” said Ridge View head boys’ basketball coach Yerrick Stoneman. “He does a great job of rotating and blocking from the weak side. A lot of teams won’t put it inside because he’s there and he alters a lot of shots.”
A year ago, the 6-foot-11 Wilson stood out – literally – on the Blazers junior varsity squad. This year, he’ll have the chance to show his skill with the varsity program.
“It’s really exciting,” Wilson said. “A year ago, I wasn’t nearly as confident as I am now. On the court, I was scared. I didn’t want to play really. But now, I’m ready to play every game.”
Wilson has already gotten the attention of a few college basketball coaches including Brad Brownell at Clemson and Frank Martin at South Carolina. Although he doesn’t have a wish list regarding who he wants to play for at this point, Wilson was happy to receive an offer from the Gamecocks.
“Frank Martin, he’s a really great guy,” Wilson said. “I love the way that he spoke to me and my family when we were there last Sunday. He built a great team last year going to the Final Four. That’s big. To have him call my coaches and invite me to campus and say that he sees potential in me to play at the level that his guys played at and he can take me as I am now and make me into those people. It was just big hearing that from him.”
Before he plays at the college level, Wilson has every intention to make himself a better player especially on the offensive end.
“I averaged four points a game last year and we lost a lot of seniors,” Wilson said. “We only had two sophomores on the team last year. They’re going to be looking for me more on the offensive end. Once I get better offensively like Alex English, I’ll be a bigger force.”
Wilson said he’s been working with the NBA legend to hone his skills. Having someone like English in his corner could prove to be quite the advantage.
"It's nice that he took me under his wing a little and was able to allow me to kind of model my game after him,” Wilson said. “I watched film on him and he has like a one-dribble pull-up and I feel like, if I were to be able to do that and get over defenders, it's a good look."
Wilson understands that his role with the team will be much bigger, but Stoneman has no intention to rush his development process over the next two seasons.
“We talk baby steps with him offensively,” Stoneman said. “Defensively, there are some things I want him to go a little quicker at. I don’t see why he can’t average a double-double and probably about five or six blocks a game this year. Last year, we had a couple of bigs that played in front of him. But Malcolm’s greatly improved.”
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