Grand Rapids Northview junior guard Malik Clincy has breakout season on the Hardwood

By: Kyle Mills

Davenport University and Cornerstone University are rivals, especially on the basketball court. They are both located in the Grand Rapids area, play in the WHAC, and are ranked in the top 10 in NAIA basketball seemingly every season. They not only compete on the court but off the court as well for top Grand Rapids area recruits. Junior combo-guard Malik Clincy is turning into one of those recruits this year thanks to his breakout season on a loaded Northview team.

Malik Clincy knew that Grand Rapids Northview could potentially have a special season this year. With versatile players like Gabe Baric and Devon Houston, Clincy says "I knew we would have success as a team this year." But just how much of that would be based on his play, well that was another question. "I did not really think I would have this much individual success, honestly," said the junior guard. After being hurt for much of this past Fall, Clincy was not really a factor on the football field. He knew he needed to step up his play if he wanted to make a difference on the basketball court. After taking his game to the next level, Malik took some time to reflect on his play before preparing for districts on Monday.

The Wildcats finished the regular season with an outstanding 14-5 record, which Malik credits all to his teammates. "I have the best teammates in the world, I wouldn't want to play with anyone else. My success has only happened because of my team," said the 6 foot 2 inch guard. Although he puts his team first, scouts and other coaches around the Grand Rapids area have definitely noticed his individual play. Clincy is averaging around 11 points per game to go along with 6 assists and 4 rebounds per game as well. He exploded onto the scene at the Cornerstone University Holiday Tournament where he dropped 21 points on a solid Hudsonville team and then 19 points on a star-studded Forest Hills Central squad two days later, both Northview victories. Clincy also hit a game-winner with 2 seconds remaining against East Grand Rapids in early February of this year. "He was the guy I wanted to take the shot because he had a very strong, confident fourth quarter," said Northview Coach Trevor Chalmers after the game. Clincy credits his ability to attack the rim and finish as his greatest attributes.

Malik's on the court success has translated to not only more wins for the Northview Wildcats, but also a full-ride scholarship offer from NAIA powerhouse Davenport University. Other colleges he has also spoken with include: Cornerstone University, Ferris State, and Grand Valley State University. He was on hand Saturday to watch Cornerstone take down Madonna University. "It was great to watch, they (Cornerstone) never got down on themselves and kept playing to get the win," he said after the game.

Clincy knows that he still has a lot to improve on if Northview wants to make a deep playoff run this year. "I need to work on my jump-shot, off-ball defense and to eliminate turnovers," said the Wildcat guard. He wants to emulate Muskegon senior guard DeShaun Thrower and become a better leader on and off the court. "I want to to do that for my team," he said. With Northview taking on the young Lowell Red Arrows on Monday, Clincy is going to need to play well for the Wildcats to advance. That's something that Coach Trevor Chalmers thinks he will have no problem doing. "You really have to respect all aspects of his game."

Look for Malik and the Wildcats of Northview to make some noise this postseason if they can get past Lowell. Tip off time is tomorrow night at 7 PM, come out and watch some of Grand Rapids' top young basketball talent.

You can follow Malik on Twitter at: @Babyswaggjuice

Malik also plays football (to get stronger for basketball) and runs track (to get faster for basketball) at Northview High School.

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