Ring Malith is entering his first full season with Academy of Sports Science Prep after immigrating from South Sudan. While he’s still somewhat of an under the radar prospect, he’s started to generate some buzz over the past several months due to his unique blend of size, length, and versatility.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Ring discusses his transition to the United States, what he brings to the table as a player, his current college interest, players he models his game after, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Ring Malith, originally from Juba, South Sudan:
Pro Insight: Tell us about your background.
Ring Malith: I’m from South Sudan and I came here about one year ago because of the war, so I decided to play basketball to try and help my family and all of that. I have about six siblings. They all played basketball, but don’t play as much anymore. I’m the youngest of the group.
PI: Did you play other sports?
RM: I played soccer. I’m good at it and I played mid-field.
PI: How long have you been playing basketball?
RM: About five years now, total.
PI: Were you able to pick it up relatively fast?
RM: I think I picked it up pretty quick because I started doing handles at home on the rough ground, that’s how I started improving my handle. I’ve got to work more on shooting. I feel the more I see guards, I’m tall so I want to play like a guard.
PI: What’s the story of how you came from South Sudan to the United States?
RM: I tell it like this: this woman, she brought us here [Ring & other members of Academy of Sports Science Prep]. They saw me play and they were like “Yo, we think you have a chance to be really good and we want to give you a chance to come to the United States. Would you be willing to come?” and I was like, “Yeah, that’s what I’ve been working for all my life.”
PI: What was the adjustment like moving halfway across the world?
RM: The game is more quick and I’m trying to catch up right now. I didn’t play last season, I had to sit out due to CIF rules so I’m still getting adjusted this season.
PI: What do you miss most about South Sudan?
RM: I miss my family and food. I know how to cook, but it’s not the same as my mom’s cooking [laughs].
PI: Any experience or interest in playing for the Sudanese national team?
RM: Not really, they want me to play over there, but I just want to first improve my game and then maybe consider playing over there.
PI: What are your biggest strengths on the basketball court?
RM: My biggest strength is I can create my own space and I can shoot. The more I can shoot it becomes easier to drive. My biggest strength is shooting, but I can drive, also. Like if you’re playing close to me, I can get to the rim.
PI: What are some improvement areas?
RM: My body, mostly — I’m trying to get stronger and work more on my shooting. My layups and finishing as well.
PI: What are some underrated aspects of your game?
RM: Most people think I’m not that athletic. I don’t really get the chance to do it, but the more I fill out my body the more I know I’ll be able to fully show it.
PI: Do you model your game after anyone in particular?
RM: Yeah, I model my game a lot after KD, try to pick up a little bit from Brandon Ingram. Those are my two favorite players to watch.
PI: What’s the update with your recruitment?
RM: Only one school has talked to me, but not too much yet. They said they want me to come visit.
PI: Which school was that?
RM: USC — they want me to come visit.
PI: Have you heard from any other schools?
RM: No, USC is the only one.
PI: What are you looking for in a school of choice?
RM: I don’t know yet, but the main thing is just improving my game. I don’t really care right now which school, but I’m trying to go to a good college and get a good education and play basketball. I mean education is a part of life.