Michael Mallory reaches 1,000 career-point sophomore year
Bobby Martinez – Sports Writer
It was just a few years ago when Owls sophomore guard, Michael Mallory, tore his knee his senior year, second game into the season at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury Conn. It was an injury Owls head coach, Michael Donnelly, said hurt his recruitment with numerous D-I schools. Fast forward a few years later, Mallory, only a sophomore, eclipsed his 1,000 point as an Owl and is currently on pace to shatter the schools record for most points held by Rich Radicioni (1,936).
Donnelly and his assistant head coach Mike Makubika, have always believed in the potential Mallory had despite suffering a knee injury. Donnelly said Mallory has had a rough time getting to where he is at now, and is very happy that Mallory has been able to achieve the 1,000 point mark.
“If you would’ve told me a few years ago that he was going to reach 1,000 points in his sophomore year,” said Donnelly, “I wouldn’t have believed you. I knew he was going to be a very good player here, but what’s crazy is that he is just scratching the surface. He just turned 21 and has two more years left. His best basketball is ahead of him and I’m really excited to see how he does.”
Mallory, who prior to committing to Southern, had already overcame numerous obstacles in his basketball career stemming from his injury. D-I schools such as Rider University, Meredith College, University of Hartford, Stony Brook College and Central Connecticut State University, were all interested.
Mallory said it means more to someone like him who has dealt with a major setback, to come onto a team and be able to do what he has done which is score 1,000 points so fast.
“This means a lot,” said Mallory. “It has been a very long journey to get where I’m at and for this milestone to be hit. It means more to a player like myself who been through what I been through, than a player just coming in.”
Both Donnelly and Makubika made it known to Mallory prior to his game against Tilton High School who had one of the best players in the country in Wayne Seldon Jr., that they had intentions in offering Mallory a scholarship to suit in an Owls uniform.
“It was crazy,” said Mallory. “It was the fourth game back from my injury, I hadn’t played a year. Seldon, at that time, was the Lebron James of the league everyone said. I seen coach Donnelly and Makubika in the stands at halftime as well. I ended up dropping 30 points on him.”
In his freshman year as an Owl, Mallory exceeded Donnelly’s expectations. Donnelly knew he had a very good player, but the way Mallory meshed with Donnelly’s system, played a major role in the Owls capturing their first ever Northeast-10 Title in school history.
“He’s been a great fit for our team,” said Donnelly. “He brings excitement to our team. He’s very popular in the locker room, with our program and outside of program as well. I knew he had it in him. I think he is the best playmaker in the league because he can do so many things.”
Donnelly went on to say, “he can miss five or six shots. But when he makes one shot, he goes on a serious streak. He attacks and scores in bunches, something that helps out team out tremendously.”
Attacking the paint is something Mallory learned from his favorite NBA players growing up, and today in Allen Iverson, Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.
“I wear number three cause of Iverson and Wade,” he said. “My other two players are Rose and Westbrook because they attack so well. Over the years, I come to realize that I play just like them.”