Malachi Flynn received a message from Isaiah Thomas – the Boston Celtics All-Star who once starred at Curtis High School – on Wednesday, before Flynn headed to a signing day ceremony Bellarmine Prep held for him in the private Jesuit school’s main office.
He said it contained a motivational message. Flynn said he doesn’t know yet what he hopes to major in now that he’s signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Washington State University, but his ultimate goal is to one day play in the NBA, just like Thomas, who now plays alongside former Bellarmine Prep player Avery Bradley.
"Once WSU came, we didn’t rush anything," said Flynn, who this past season passed Bradley’s school record for points scored in a season with 743 this past year. "I felt very comfortable when I went out there. And when I took the visit, I didn’t have any second thoughts."
"I believe in what Coach (Ernie) Kent is doing and I believe he can turn that program around and I can be a part of that."
Kent in a press conference at WSU on Wednesday compared Flynn to some of his point guards at Oregon – such as Luke Ridnour (a graduate of Blaine), Aaron Brooks (of Franklin) and Tajuan Porter.
“Malachi really reminds me of the guard play that I had when we built those really good teams at Oregon,” Kent said. “The skill set, the feel for the game, his ability to score, his motor and, more importantly, his drive to be successful.
“I just thought that he was an incredible get for us and not only for what he does on the floor, but he's one of the top students that we've ever recruited here.”
Flynn was named The Associated Press’ state player of the year for all classifications and The News Tribune’s All-Area player of the year. He averaged 29.7 points per game his senior year.
"We're looking forward to getting Malachi here," Kent said. " I think with him and Milan (Acquaah), the two of them give me that one-two punch, if you talk about leading on the floor -- the skill, the speed, the ability to see the game and play the game at a high pace. I'm thrilled that we have them."
Gig Harbor held a signing day ceremony Wednesday morning for all its athletes, including TNT All-Area football player of the year Davis Alexander, the quarterback who actually signed with Portland State University earlier this year.
As did Gig Harbor centerfielder and pitcher Michael Toglia, a switch-hitter who signed with UCLA. Jon Burghardt signed with Washington State.
Ten athletes from Rogers signed, including twin wrestlers Troy and Ty Wilson. Both signed with Kansas Weslyan University.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
SOUTH SOUND APRIL 13 SIGNING DAY
Ryan Lacey, men’s basketball, Western Oregon
Tristan Miguel, men’s basketball, Western Oregon
Malachi Flynn, men’s basketball, Washington State
Majestic Moler, women’s basketball, Northwest University
Zachary Berry, wrestling, Minot State (North Dakota)
Logan Moose, track and field, Southern Oregon
Emma Vuksich, cross country/track and field, Ursuline College (Ohio)
Anyae Douglas, women’s basketball, Crown College (Minn.)
Michael Toglia, Baseball, UCLA
John Burghardt, Baseball, Washington State
Davis Alexander, Football, Portland State
Kyle Olson-Urbon, Football, Eastern Washington
Jordan Bertram, Soccer, Cal State (Bakersfield)
Nate Younk, Football, Montana Tech
Kale Wong, Football, Whitworth
Neil Hassan, Baseball, George Fox University
Andrew Parker, Baseball, UPS
Colton Robinson, Baseball, Linfield
Abby Hutton, Softball, Bethel College (Kansas)
Kara Tallman, Soccer, Tacoma Community College
Mia Ostergren, Soccer, Central Washington
Noah Samsen, Football, Simon Fraser (B.C)
Sean Reemts, Football, Northern Colorado University
Maddie Henry, softball, Howard College
Jordan Keane, volleyball, Saint Martin’s
Porter Kreier, cross country/track, Pacific Lutheran
Jaycee Jenkins, cross country/track, Pacific Lutheran
Ayla Carpenter, volleyball, Carroll College
Brandon Paust, baseball, Shoreline Community College
Darcie Haegele, lacrosse, Central Washington
Jamiee Crawford, softball, Pierce Community College
Reid Roelofs, football, Southern Nazarene (Okla.)
Courtney Youngblood, women’s basketball, Green River Community College
Braden Hannold, men’s basketball, Centralia College
Brandon Jessee, baseball, Tacoma Community College
Kaleb Miles, men’s soccer, Northwest Christian University
Derric Floyd, men’s soccer, Northwest Christian University
Kinkade Barreiro, men’s soccer, Northwest Christian University
Owen Nwankolo, men’s soccer, Warner Pacific College (Ore.)
Cooper Gray, men’s soccer, Northwest University
Parker Elliott, men’s soccer, St. Martin’s University
Troy Wilson, wrestling, Kansas Wesleyan University
Ty Wilson, wrestling, Kansas Wesleyan University
Michael Marr, men’s swimming, Concordia (Calif.)
Maddy Allison, softball, Pierce College
Ashley Lewis, diving, Bryant University (Rhode Island)
Rachel Paulsen, women’s basketball, Pacific Lutheran
Graeme Schroeder, track/cross country (Colorado State)
Zach White, football, College of Idaho
*Source: Area athletic directors