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There’s a common misconception that to be successful in basketball, you must be tall.
Yet, Malachi Nix, Niles North’s 5-7 point guard, is thriving. He is a four-year varsity player and the Vikings’ all-time leading scorer.
Niles North hasn’t been known for its basketball program, but since Nix joined the team, he has changed the culture and made the sport exciting to watch for those associated with the school. As much praise as he gets, he believes everyone on the team deserves the credit for the Vikings’ remarkable season.
“It hasn’t just been me,’’ Nix said. ‘‘It’s my teammates and the coaching staff that has helped us get here. We come to work every single day and work hard in practice.’’
Nix is in total control of his game right now and has been playing his best basketball at the most important time of the season. He can affect the game in different ways and plays with a fearless attitude every play.
In a recent sectional victory over Maine South, Nix did a little bit of everything, including blocking a couple shots. He constantly broke down his defender, making plays for his teammates. He also finished the end of both the second and third quarters with buzzer-beating three-pointers well beyond the NBA three-point arc.
Nix has not yet committed to a school, but he isn’t pressing or trying to do too much. He simply wants to help his team win and prides himself on doing everything he can for his teammates.
“Being a leader, doing all the intangibles,’’ Nix said of his duties for the Vikings. ‘‘Diving for loose balls, taking charges — whatever it takes in order for me to get the win for my team, I’m going to do.’’
If you think Nix won’t succeed playing college basketball because of his size, go to one of his games and you’ll leave the gym with a different impression.
He will find a way to succeed on the next level one way or another because his passion for the game is so strong.
“I just let my game speak for itself,’’ Nix said. ‘‘I don’t talk that much [on the court]. I just love the game of basketball.’’