The first round tips in a league often play with a chip on their shoulders, as the hopes and eyes are on them to prove their choice. So Malachi Richardson has a lot to prove, especially after his injury-hit seasons and limited playing time. Nonetheless, he is a fascinating prospect with many opportunities to develop into a solid NBA player.
Malachi Richardson is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a season of a college career in Syracuse, he was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 22nd overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Who is Malachi Richardson of the NBA?
Malachi Richardson was born on January 5, 1996, in Trenton, New Jersey. He attended the Trenton Catholic Academy (TCA) in his first year of high school but transferred to Roselle Catholic High School the following year. He decided, however, to return to the TCA for his junior and senior high school.
During high school, Malachi played an impressive basketball game, and in his second year, he won the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament of Champions for Boys’ Basketball. Upon his return to Trenton, he served as a team captain in both the junior and senior classes. He achieved double-digit results in most of his games with the Iron Mikes, scoring a total of 1,245 points, averaging 19.2 points in the junior and 18.7 points in the senior class.
After high school, he was a promising challenger and became McDonald’s All-American in 2015. He was recruited from Syracuse University, where he played only one, but the explosive, season for the Syracuse Orange basketball team. During his only season with the team, he showed great promise, which led to his name rising up the ladder of promising players as the 2016 NBA Draft approached.
He started all 37 games for the Orange, from which he picked 79 three-pointers (the third most common from a Syracuse rookie). Richardson also averaged 13.4 points with 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He was appointed to the ACC All-Freshman Team and also led the team into the last four of the 2016 NCAA tournament.
5 Facts You Need To Know About Malachi Richardson of NBA
1. Basketball has always been his dream
From the moment his mother initiated him into the game at a young age, it became life for him and his world seemed to revolve around it. He watched games on television and was a die-hard fan of Kobe Byrant, which he says inspired him greatly. Since then he has cherished the dream of playing in the NBA and becoming a superstar.
Eventually, he started playing in the local leagues, from where the course for his elite career was set. Since then, he has played with passion, joy, élan, and the conviction that he admires in others, in the hope of one day becoming a professional.
2. A single season of college basketball
Richardson was a freshman with a bright future and on a path that seemed to lead to his second year in college. However, after the NCAA tournament, where he advanced Syracuse to the round of the last four, he did the same for himself, but in this case to an earlier than expected exit from the NBA, which led to him relinquishing his eligibility for the 2016 draft. Finally, the opportunity arose to try the water at the other end (professional level) of the game.
His success in the off-season worked in his favor, as he was forced into the first round (22nd overall) by the Charlotte Hornets, who traded his rights to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Marco Belinelli.
3. Richardson didn’t think about going pro until after the Tournament ended
While many believed that he would leave college and move to the league after his outstanding first season, Malachi did not think about it, although he did show up in sham games. His decision to transit was a last-minute decision and he even ended his academic career should he return to keep his eligibility.
He may not know exactly what made him make this decision, although there are many opinions he should hold on to until a later date because the decision to become a professional for him was already dyed in the wool; he was finally ready for the next stage. The end of the NCAA tournament only contributed to the development that began with a mother who had a passion for basketball. For him, it was just a dream to become a professional, and his time came sooner than expected.
4. He has had a not so-so NBA Career thus far
Although he showed great potential in the first games of his rookie season with the Kings, in February 2017 he suffered an injury to the right femoral tendon that paralyzed him for the rest of the season. He spent most of his season in the G-League with the Reno Bighorns during his season and a half with the Kings. He only played 25 games before switching to the Toronto Raptors.
On February 8, 2018, he was taken over by the Raptors at the close of trading in exchange for Bruno Caboclo. After his first game with the team the following day, he received several assignments for the rest of the season to their G League partner, the Raptors 905.
After two seasons, Malachi Richardson has only completed 48 games. Although his career so far could be described as rocky, he is happy to have left college after one season. This will prove why he was a first-round contender for the early and late seasons and beyond.
5. It was his mom who introduced him to the game
Malachi is one of three children of basketball enthusiasts Jacquie and Lewis Richardson. For Jacquie, basketball became a lifelong passion just to pass the time. Together with her twin sister, she played as a 2-gard with a sports scholarship at UMass before moving to the state of Virginia. She longed for competition and despised losing.
So when her first child was born, she imagined a future with basketball for him. When she was only four years old, she put the ball in his hand and has been leading him on the stage where he stands now ever since.
Malachi hopes to do the same for his son Kody (born in April 2018), whom he shares with his girlfriend Emily Garcia. Basketball may be the young player’s life, but the family remains everything to him.
Body Stats: Height, Weight
Malachi Richardson has the physical characteristics of a modern NBA player. He stands at a height of 1.98 m (1.98 m, good enough for a point guard) with a corresponding weight of 93 kg (205 lb), he is athletic and has shown signs of a competent jump throw. He has a wingspan of 7 feet.