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Alier Maluk Q&A

Credit: USA Basketball

After being born and spending early childhood in South Sudan, Alier Maluk moved to the United States where he eventually took up basketball. Starting out playing as more of a guard, Maluk developed his cognitive motor skills early before growing into his current 6’10” frame. Now the class of 2025 forward boasts a versatile two-way game thanks to his impressive coordination, agility, length and perimeter skill-set. Look for Maluk to continue boosting his stock as he aims to lead Imani Christian Academy (PA) to a state title this season.

As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Maluk discusses how he got his start in basketball, his on-court attributes, recent experience with USA Basketball, recruitment update, off-court interests, and much more.

For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Alier Maluk, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

Pro Insight: Talk about your basketball journey — how did you get to where you are today?

Alier Maluk: I started playing basketball at the park with all of the older kids. At the time I met an older kid [Mark] in the neighborhood and he kind of took me under his wing. He had a couple other brothers and we started working out and we’ve been tight ever since.

PI: How old were you at the time?

AM: I was around 7 or 8 years old.

PI: Were you naturally talented from the start?

AM: I’d say I was a naturally good shooter, but I’ve since developed all of my talent since.

PI: Do you play much back home in South Sudan?

AM: I didn’t really play basketball back home, I was just playing soccer. I was in South Sudan until I was three years old.

PI: Do you have any other athletes in the family?

AM: No, I’m the only one in my immediate family.

PI: Where do you get your height from?

AM: Both of my parents are over 6’1” and my grandparents were tall.

PI: Are you the tallest member of your immediate family?

AM: Yes I am.

PI: Have you always been tall or did you hit a growth spurt?

AM: I hit a growth spurt later in life.

PI: Did you start off as a guard?

AM: Yeah, I wasn’t always the biggest when I played so I always had to play as a guard. Then I just grew.

PI: Talk about the basketball culture in South Sudan.

AM: It wasn’t as good when I was younger, there wasn’t a lot of basketball. It was more popular later in the decade, but [when I was there] there was hardly any basketball. The closest places to play were either Kenya, Egypt or Ethiopia.

PI: Describe your game — what are some of your greatest strengths?

AM: I’m a good rim protector, rebounder and shooter.

PI: What about some improvement areas?

AM: I’m working on my physicality and my left hand.

PI: What would you say is an underrated aspect of your game?

AM: I’d say my passing.

PI: Have you always had good court vision?

AM: I developed it later on as I started getting double-teamed.

PI: Any players you watch or model your game after?

AM: Brandon Ingram and Kevin Durant as forwards and Kyrie Irving as a guard.

PI: Talk about your summer — what did you show coaches and scouts?

AM: I would say it was a good summer. I got to really show the coaches my fluidity and rebounding.

PI: Was it a big summer in terms of picking up offers?

AM: I’d say it was a good summer for that. It wasn’t too big at the beginning, but I picked up three to four towards the end.

PI: What are some of your goals for this upcoming high school season?

AM: I want to win sectional and win state. Those are my goals for the year.

PI: Did you come close to winning state last season?

AM: We lost in the semi-finals.

PI: Can you share a bit about your family’s journey to America?

AM: Yeah, my dad got through a camp during the war and he got to Kenya. Then they picked him to be selected to go to America. He got sent to Arizona and I was born in Africa. Then he paid for me and my mom to come over to the states.

PI: Have you been back to Sudan?

AM: No, I’m trying to go back so I can play on the National Team.

PI: What’s the latest with that?

AM: Yeah, my coaches have that connection with them.

PI: Have you participated in anything with the National Team?

AM: No, not yet. I want to see if I can play soon, but it’s a different league out there.

PI: You recently participated in the USA Basketball minicamp — how was that experience?

AM: It was great. Good competition and NBA scouts were there. I’m just glad I played the right way.

PI: Were you nervous or excited to show out in front of NBA teams?

AM: I w