After playing as a wing guard with the Thomson High School Bulldogs for four years, making 17.8 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and two steals per game on average, Malcolm Daniels II signed to the Chattanooga State Tigers on June 27 in the Thomson High School Media Center.
Wendy Newby, Daniels II’s mother, said she knew her son would arrive to this place.
“As a mother, it’s a good feeling to know that we’ve accomplished what we set out to accomplish,” Newby said. “That makes any mother proud.”
Head Basketball Coach Michael Thomas said recruiters have tried to get Daniels II to come their way since the second half of the school year. Besides his stat records, Daniels II has played on two all-star teams during high school. However, Thomas said he recognized Daniels II talent in freshman year.
“You could tell his skill level was high, and his instinct has always been there,” he said.
Thomas said Daniels II has the uncanny ability to make shots, indicating exceptional skills. In addition to this, Thomas said that Daniels II listens, making him coachable. He also noted the thought that Daniels II puts into basketball plays.
“He has the ability to analyze where the pass is going to go,” he said. “He’s always been a step ahead.”
Naudia Daniels, Malcolm Daniels II’s sister, describes her brother as ambition and says he has good focus. She also said that she believes he’ll do well going forward if he keeps that focus.
“Stay focused,” she said. “Everything else will fall in line.”
Daniels II said he’s ready to get the ball rolling with college and his new team. At Chattanooga State Community College, Daniels II currently plans to study forensic science or business. He’s still deciding.
Thomas reminds Daniels II of the gravity of the new team position.
“It’s real life now. In essence, he’s employed. He’s being paid to play,” he said. “His coaches, his employers, are expecting him to be on time and perform.”
Daniels II has already started to think about what stepping on the new team and starting college will mean.
“It’s a new beginning, so you’ve got to take every step lightly,” he said.
To his old team, Daniels II encourages them to work at their craft and pray. He complimented their talent, but said that the team will have to continue to work hard to make it like they did this year, when the Bulldogs won regionals.
“They’ve just got to take over,” he said.
During the signing, Daniels II is a mix of smiles, laughter, and nervous expressions, but teammates, family, and friends gather with him in support. His advice to his fellow players comes sure.
“It ain't going to work if you don’t work,” he said. “Work. Pray. That’s it.”