I recently had the opportunity to speak with Florida State commit Malik Beasley, a 6’4 185 pound shooting guard from St. Francis High School in Georgia. On the court, Malik is blessed with a quick first step, has explosive finishing ability, and is a threat on the fast break. He’s also had quite the year committing to a Division 1 basketball program, playing in the Jordan Brand Classic, and throwing down impressive dunks at the Ballislife All-American Game so there’s no doubt about his talents on the court. My interview on the other hand focused on evaluating his off the court skills such as his intangibles, his mindset, and what advice he has for future players who want to follow in his footsteps!
Q: First off, congratulations on your commitment to Florida State! At what point did you realize playing Division 1 basketball was a real possibility for you?
Playing Division 1 basketball really became a possibility around the summer of 10th grade. When I was younger I always thought I would be great but that’s how all little kids think. I saw potential in myself, just kept working hard and never stopped believing in myself.
Q: Also committed to Florida State is shooting guard Dwayne Bacon. Do events like the Jordan Brand Classic and The Ballislife All American Game help build/strengthen the relationship you may have with your future teammate?
Yes, these events definitely help build chemistry among future teammates. Dwayne and I are cool with each other and just have a great time on the court!
Q: Success on the court often comes with endless interview requests, people treating you differently, more pressure, etc. What has been the hardest adjustment you’ve had to make over the last year?
Just being able to show that I am a humble man and I treat others how I want to be treated. I’m not the type of person to be ignorant or rude to others so it wasn’t that hard to adjust to the extra attention. Of course success can be overwhelming at times but I just fight through it.
Q: What would be your advice for aspiring basketball players hoping to follow in your footsteps one day?
2 ‘H”s, stay hungry and stay humble. Also don’t worry about the “politics” of basketball. Instead players should worry more about their game and working on their weaknesses.
Q: Today a large number of basketball players get caught up in creating mix-tape worthy crossovers and overly working on their handles, and as a result overlook some important areas they should be putting more work into. Are there any areas or fundamentals you feel players aren’t focusing enough on these days?
Yes I think so and I think that falls into politics because a lot of people just want the fame and the shine. I don’t have that many mix-tape worthy handles but my strength is that I can get anywhere I want on the floor. I also think players should definitely work more on their fundamentals!
Q: Is there an NBA player you look up to or model your game after? If so, why?
I look up to everybody. LeBron James for his physical ability, Kobe Bryant for his mental game, Chris Paul for his handles, Stephen Curry for his shot, and Michael Jordan for his overall game!
Q: You’re ranked 28th on ESPN’s Top 100 rankings. Why should we keep our eye on you in the coming years, what makes you special?
I think people should keep an eye on me because of my athleticism, my jump shot, my leadership, and I believe I’m just a great overall player!
Overall, I believe aspiring basketball players can learn a lot from Malik Beasley both on the court and off of it. As mentioned before, we live in a generation where young players are more interested in “dropping” their defender with a crossover, over dribbling the basketball, and making the game more about themselves rather than the team. Although Malik has had his fair share of in-game dunks, his game is built on fundamental skills that help his team and future teams win. He’s tenacious on defense, his defense leads to offense, and he can truly get anywhere he wants on the floor because of his speed and athleticism. Last but not least, he truly is a humble player who cares more about playing basketball than any fame or popularity that may come with it! You should definitely keep an eye on Malik during his time at Florida State because I believe this is a player who has the talent to help an NBA team win games one day!