East Lawrence High’s Malik Garth put up double digits both Friday and Saturday night at the Lawrence County Basketball Tournament, helping the Eagles finish second.
On the court, the 5-foot-11 sophomore guard makes shooting look easy. Garth is quick to drive down the lane and find the basket with decisive force. This season, he’s averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, with 2.4 steals.
Off the court, Garth has a smile that comes just as easily, and admits he likes to laugh and have a good time.
Decatur Daily sports writer Meredith Qualls sat down with Garth for conversation about basketball and what else happens off the court.
Question: Did you ever play any other sports besides basketball?
Answer: I used to play baseball, but I didn’t like it. I play football, too.
Q: Why basketball?
A: The game has always been so simple. It’s just putting the ball in the goal. It’s always been easy to me.
Q: From Friday’s game against Hatton, you seem to have a good ability to shoot and drive the ball to the net. Is that something you’ve always been able to do?
A: My dad always told me to take it to the goal. He hates for me to shoot the ball. He tells me to take it to the goal all the time, because he says, “Why shoot it when you can go closer to the goal?” So that’s what I’ve always been doing.
Q: Is there anyone that has had a big influence on the way you play?
A: My dad, Connie Garth, really does have a big impact on the way I play, because he always tries to get the best out of me. He always tells me that I can be good, he just really motivates me.
Q: This season, is there something in your game that has improved for you?
A: My shots have gotten way better. Last year, I didn’t even have a shot, for real, but this year, I’ve improved a lot.
Q: What’s your favorite class in school?
A: My favorite subject is math. I like math. I’m good with numbers.
Q: What about music?
A: My favorite music is R&B. A person I listen to before every game is a friend; he graduated from here. He’s a gospel rapper. His name is Ken Owen.
Q: Besides music, is there anything else you do differently on game day?
A: Before every game, the whole team always goes to the locker room and just jokes around. We’ll be joking around, and then we all get serious immediately. It’s always funny every time.
Q: Is there anyone on the team who jokes around more than anyone else?
A: Camron (Garner). Camron’s got everybody beat on the team. He’s always making us laugh. Before one of our games, we went downstairs — and we have nothing in our locker room at all to sit on, and the girls have three or four couches in theirs. Right after their warmups, we went in and stole all of their couches right before the game. They ended up taking them back, so that didn’t really work out.
Q: Do you follow any pro teams?
A: My favorite team right now is the New York Knicks. I’m also an Auburn fan, I’m sad to say this year. They’ll come back strong next season.
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