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High School sports

Dundalk grad Malik Winston commits to Morehead State

For months, Malik Winston's post-grad plan was to attend prep school. The former Dundalk star, who graduated this spring, had the grades to attend college immediately. But the level of basketball interest just wasn't quite where he thought it should be.

That all changed "about a week or so ago" when the Morehead State coaching staff reached out to Winston. He committed to the Eagles on Monday night.

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"It kind of feels unreal that I'm going to be playing Division I ball," Winston said Tuesday. "It hasn't really hit me yet. I think when I get on campus, it will. Right now, it's crazy. It's a good feeling. I'm excited."

Winston, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound combo guard, averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Dundalk as a senior, leading the Owls to an 18-6 record and an appearance in the Class 3A North Section II playoffs. His high school success and his performance with Crusader Nation in previous springs and summers led to college interest from a variety of Division III programs.

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This spring, however, Winston joined Cecil Kirk and saw his recruitment take off, with interest from Morehead State, Cal-State Northridge, Coppin State and Norfolk State, among other DI programs.

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Cecil Kirk "coach Anthony Lewis, he was in my corner all spring and summer, helping me get my name out there," Winston said. "The interest and everything started coming in. Now we're here."

Brent Arrington, a Lansdowne grad and Cecil Kirk alum, finished a standout career with the Eagles this spring, which Lewis said "only helped matters" with Winston. Morehead State returns a veteran roster, but Lewis expects Winston to be "an intricate part" of the team as a freshman and expand his role from there.

"He's a stretch-the-floor type of guy," Lewis said. "Very good shooter, excellent beyond the arc, tough defender. He should have a good career there."

Winston, who'd like to major in engineering or architecture, said he plans to move to the Morehead, Ky., campus "before the end of next week." He's excited to embrace "the overall college experience" and "bring energy" to an Eagles team that went 23-14 and were the runners-up in the College Basketball Invitational.

"I hate to lose," Winston said. "I'm going to be intense on both offense and defense. For Dundalk, I was a leader and team captain. I'll try to bring some leadership skills to this team and help contribute so [everyone on the team] can get better."

mbracken@baltsun.com

twitter.com/mattbracken


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