Jared Cunnigham is with the Tennessee Titans. Desmond Williams plays in a Finnish basketball league. Jeff Stoutland and Tim Holt are active NFL assistants, and Chris Palmer most recently served as the Buffalo Bills’ senior offensive assistant, from 2015-2016.
So I’m wondering if Michael Mallory, Southern’s star guard, a senior graduating in May, will be able to take his talents to the professional level. In four years with the Owls, Mallory racked up many milestones, and recently became the Northeast-10 conference’s all-time leading scorer, in the second round of the Division II NCAA Tournament last month.
He sure has the skillset to play overseas, but the question is would he want to? In past conversations with Mallory, he has always been laser-focused on his game and the play of his fellow Owls. Prior to Southern, Mallory was also a high school basketball standout in Waterbury.
If he indeed wants to continue playing basketball after Southern, Mallory has a multitude of options – sure, he could try team up with Williams in Finland, or he could join a league in China, Israel, Europe, Australia – I mean, the options are endless.
His head coach, the legendary Scott Burrell, finished his professional career with stops in the D-League and overseas in China, the Philippines, Spain and Japan, respectively. He ended up playing for eight more seasons after his 1998 title with Jordan and the Bulls – starting things off from ’93 to ’97 in Charlotte and finishing up as a member of the Hitachi SunRockers.
So it’s anyone’s guess if Mallory will take the bold and intriguing step to play basketball professionally, but if he does, we know he will definitely be able to put himself, and the Southern program, on the map.
(Note: After playing over in the Philippines, Burrell actually came back to the U.S. to play in the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association (CBA). He played for the Idaho Stampede from 2004-2005).