Ohio State four-star guard signee Malaki Branham was one of the 30 boys and 30 girls selected to this year’s Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday afternoon, though the games won’t be played due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“While no game will be played in 2021, Jordan Brand still recognizes the high school athletes who have remained dedicated to the game and deserve recognition for their talent,” event organizers said in a statement.
The 6-foot-4 and 175-pound Branham, who was considered the sixth-best shooting guard and No. 29 prospect overall in the class of 2021, averaged 21.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game to lead Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to the state championship the past season.
He was subsequently named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball, the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association’s Mr. Basketball, Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association’s Division II player of the year and the Cleveland.com boy’s basketball player of the year.
Branham becomes the first Ohio State signee named to a national high school all-star game since former men’s forward Alonzo Gaffney and former women’s guards Kierstan Bell and Kaelynn Satterfield played in the Jordan Brand Classic in 2019.
Other Big Ten signees named to the roster include Indiana’s Tamar Bates; Michigan’s Kobe Bufkin, Moussa Diabate and Caleb Houston; and Nebraska’s Bryce McGowens on the boy’s side and Michigan State’s Damiya Hagemann on the girl’s side.