Malachi Martins

Age: 11

Camp: Rockville

As I walked around with my IPhone, on a mission to capture moments for our social media family I could not help but notice Malachi. As Coach Moe ran them through the same defensive drills he use to run us through when we were younger I watched how Malachi focused in on every word that he was saying. I was so inspired by his energy that I had to stop and cheer him on myself. He was one of the smaller guys at the camp so it was so hard for me to spot him out of the 71 other kids that attended but every time I did happened to get a look at him, he was focused and working extremely hard. No matter what station he was at, no matter if it was the start of the station or the end of the station he gave it his all the entire time. I just knew that there was something driving him, it is not often that we come across a kid like Malachi. Do not get me wrong, I believe that we get some of the hardest working kids at our camps but there is always a few that just blow us out the water. We do not look for the best players, we look for those who come to not only get better but also make those around them better. When I first saw Malachi, I just knew there was something special about this kid. He did not come to play, he came to put in work. At the end of camp, I had about three or four kids in mind. I was having such a hard time deciding who I was going to interview and then, I spotted Malachi, standing in line waiting to meet sky. In my mind, I said, that’s who I want. I had to chase him down and try not to lose sight of him because he moves fast. I was so happy that I was able to pull him to the side and ask him if he would give me the honor of sitting down with him so that I could ask him a few questions. I must say, after interviewing him, I was so happy that I had the opportunity to meet him personally. 

What school do you go to?

Gaithersburg Middle School.

Do you play basketball for your school?

No, I have to wait one more year.

What grade are you in?

6th.

How long have you been playing ball?

Since I was 5.

What motivated you to start playing?

Well , my brother started playing basketball. You know when you are younger how you want to be like your older siblings? So, I started playing. I just kept getting better and better and was able to play on different teams. 

So, your big brother inspired you to play?

Yes! Oh and today is his birthday! Happy Birthday Daymon!!

How old is your brother?

He just turned 21! 

While I was watching you I noticed that in every drill you were working extremely hard, what makes you work so hard?

Because, I know that certain kids are not fortunate enough to come here and then my mom paid a lot of money. I was not just going to come here and start slacking , I came to work. Plus, I want to be in the NBA when I am older. I know that there are other kids out here working every day in other gyms.

What made you choose to come to Skylar Diggins camp?

My sister likes Skylar Diggins. She researched her and she was good, I already knew Pat The Roc too so I wanted to come to camp.

How does Skylar push you to get better?

She is quick and her handles are nice. I am trying to get my handles better and become quicker because I am small and the other kids are way bigger than me so I have to use my advantages.

What are your goals?

I want to be in the NBA . I want to help my family out and give back, I also want to be in the hall of fame. Oh, and beat Michael Jordan’s record!

What do you do before a game?

First, I put some lotion on, I be ashy! I do simple drills, like put the ball around my waist, head and between my legs. I also stretch and pray. 

How do you motivate your team during a game?

I motivate them by encouraging them. I say to them, “We can do this, they are not better than us. No team is better than us, we are beating ourselves.”

Who do you look up to?

I look up to my brother and Kyrie.

Why Kyrie?

Because I just want to be just like him in the NBA. Nobody can stop him from getting to the rack, no one! I like his handles and his speed. And I like Allen Iverson. I like the swag he brings to the basketball game, like his handles, quickness and hops.

Why do you look up to your brother?

Because when my dad, mom and sister are not there, he is like my dad. He takes care of me, that is why I consider him my hero. 

What do you eat before a game?

I rarely eat before a game but if I did eat before a game I would eat something light so I don't get cramps. I don’t like getting cramps in the middle of the game. I probably eat fruit snacks or something. 

What is something that someone has said to you that will always stick with you?

My brother told me I can do anything. He told me somebody has to beat Michael Jordan, he believed in me so I started working hard. 

Is there anything else that you would like to say?

Thank you to my mom, my sister, my friends and family and my brother. Thank you to my aunt for helping me work and my Uncle Beezo for advice.

As I wrapped up this interview with Malachi my heart was certainly full. His drive, passion, character and appreciation for the support of his family is something you do not get from someone his age. I am certain that I will be hearing about Malachi in the near future, I know that he will be the one to beat Michael Jordans record. Malachi Martin is a name we do not want to forget. Before he left, he came up to me thanked me for interviewing him and hugged me. I hope to see him back next year and in the years to come. He was truly one of a kind.