Cyr Malonga had never played basketball before 2018. He was a 6-8 soccer star in the Congo, and was stopped on the street and asked to try basketball. his life has never been the same.
Malonga is now 6-11 and is playing high school basketball at Evangel Christian School in Louisville. He is a rising star in the 2023 class, and according to an article in Sports Illustrated, John Calipari has already shown interest in the big man.
The only offer Kentucky has issued for 2023 is Bronny James, but having a top-notch center so close to Lexington has not flown under Kentucky’s radar. And the ceiling is high for this Congo native that is still new to the game.
“He has phenomenal potential,” said Evangel Christian School athletic director Brandon Bender told Sports Illustrated. “When you’re 16 years old, 6-11 and weigh 210 pounds with his instincts and skills I think one day he will be a top 10 pick. He’s on that track.”
Malonga has been putting in a ton of work this summer and averaged 17.5 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game this summer with the Louisville Defenders. He is dominant in the paint, and told Sports Illustrated that his favorite part of the game is “to dunk on people.” That is the kind of attitude we want in Lexington.
It also looks like Malonga is headed for reclassification and will go to college in the fall of 2022. If that is the case, I would not be surprised to see an offer from Kentucky coming sooner rather than later.
6’11” and just finished 9th grade!— Richard Wright (@zionsvillebball) July 4, 2020
Meet Cyr Malonga. Cyr played at or above the rim all day, and the kid has some speed! pic.twitter.com/NeFAWJZbpb
Memphis, Virginia Tech and Arizona State are the latest to reach out for 2023 6-11 F Cyr Malonga. pic.twitter.com/BDKwocX8dP— Jason Jordan (@JasonJordanSI) September 22, 2020