There have been several notable and memorable high school basketball players to come through this area in recent history. Mikki Moore, Arizona “AZ” Reid, Sidney Rice, Donald Sims, Rodney Poston and LJ Peak just to name a few. Many more have come before that.
Now Blacksburg’s Malik Gaffney has made his mark not just locally, but also statewide. He may be the best kept secret in all of South Carolina high school basketball. He’s only 6’0, but he plays and shoots like a pro. He finished his senior season as the #6 scorer in Class 2A averaging 22 points/game, #3 in three pointers made in the state and even received the Southern Prep Athletic Association Player Of The Year, and All-State honors.
A strong work ethic and a good upbringing have definitely been beneficial for Malik. He has been playing basketball since the age of four, playing in leagues with and against nine and ten year olds. He began perfecting his wonderful jump shot using a small Fisher Price goal and countless hours at the arcade.
Years passed and he continued to excel on and off the court. He has played locally in summer leagues, AAU basketball and on a couple of travel teams. He led the Blacksburg Wildcats this year, along with multi-sport athletes Treyvon Parker and Nick , within striking distance of the region crown and a playoff berth. The Smith gymnasium started becoming packed as several locals and scouts wanted to see this kid play.
Malik is the type of person that’s known for more than just his jumper that’s like NBA stars Reggie Miller or Stephen Curry, or his favorite player Kyrie Irving. He’s a first class person off the court also. Malik works hard and relentlessly to achieve his goals in life. This guy has lived in the courts and gym for years, while others weren’t. He also maintains good grades in school. Quite simply, he doesn’t let anyone tell him he can’t achieve.
His attitude is paying dividends. Thanks to his talent, work ethic, and stellar play, he has received attention from several colleges nationwide, including Grey Military Prep School, Butler, Houston, St. Johns, Hawaii and UTEP. His online recruiting profile on ncsasports.org has helped put him on the forefront for college basketball scouts.
This teenager has several goals, besides and beyond basketball. He wants to play Division I college ball, receive his bachelor’s degree in business management, and eventually become an executive of a Fortune 500 executive.
Dreaming big is one thing. Achieving those dreams and working for them is another. Malik is not someone I would bet against. He is very goal driven, motivated, and very personable. He has all the assets and qualities necessary to become successful in basketball and life.
Malik Gaffney has quite an inspirational story of beating the odds and reaching goals. He may be small by many to be a basketball star. However dynamite isn’t exactly huge either. Also, like dynamite, Malik exploded on the basketball courts on a consistent basis, knowing he couldn’t rest on his laurels.
The best is yet to come for this young local talent. His stock is rising, and he is getting the respect he has worked for. Malik makes one want not only him to succeed, but to motivate you to excel. He hasn’t taken no for an answer, and neither should anyone. One of the mottos that his father, Darenza, has coined is “Make It Happen”.
Therefore, one should continue to set goals, work hard and make things happen, just like folks such as do on a daily basis.