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Rising WPIAL Star Alier Maluk Breaks Down Pitt Visit



Alier Maluk

On Tuesday, one of the top young players in Western Pennsylvania, Alier Maluk, took an unofficial visit to Pitt.

“It was great,” Maluk told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I got to see the whole facility and the super nice upstairs area. Super dope.”

Pitt assistant Jason Capel led Maluk around campus on Tuesday. While it was not Maluk’s first time on campus, as he has been to some Pitt games as a fan, it was an enjoyable time to get to know the staff, including Capel, all day Tuesday.

“I was with him, yeah,” he said about the assistant coach. “He tells me a lot about UNC, how they played back in the day. He told me stories about MJ, so it was a super good connection on the visit.”

Playing in the Pittsburgh area as well as being recruited by Pitt, Maluk has seen the players on Pitt’s team several times recently. In fact, Maluk has grown closest to Pitt’s leading scorer John Hugley, another forward.

“I know of those guys, but I don’t really know them personally, except for John,” Maluk said. “He’s the only person I talk to. We are competitive and we go out to hoop. I like his game, he likes my game, there is kind of a respect factor.”

Maluk is a 6-foot-10 forward who plays for Imani Christian, a WPIAL Class 1A school. With tremendous length and athleticism, Maluk’s skill set is certainly one-of-a-kind for a player of his age. He says his mid-range fadeaway and his defensive ability are his two best skills on the court. Recently, his game has reached another level as he is now focusing on improving one specific thing: ball-handling.

“Right now, I am developing my handle,” he said. “I play like AD [Anthony Davis]. I am trying to transfer into a KD [Kevin Durant]-type player as the time goes on.”

While he still has just one season of high-school hoops under his belt, Maluk is already looking ahead to the future, and the potential of playing in Pittsburgh is certainly an option.

“If I were to make that choice, that would mean a lot to me,” he said about staying home and playing for Pitt. “I have to see things through when the time comes. I always thought they had a really good coach. They just needed more pieces to fix all of their dead spots. They have a really good chance to go far this year, and I am really excited to watch them play.”

The rising sophomore has become a national name on the recruiting scene over the past few years, and has blown up even more this summer with offers from several more high-major schools. LSU, Auburn, NC State, and West Virginia are the latest programs to offer him, with the Mountaineers’ staff raining on the Panthers’ parade by extending Maluk an offer on Tuesday– just hours after the visit to Pitt.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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