A standout at the 2016 NY2LA Sports Futures Camp, Belleville (Ill.) East 2018 guard Malachi Smith continues to fly under the radar. A terrific two-way guard, Smith is starting to garner more Division 1 attention. 

One of the top mid-major programs in the country, North Dakota State has recently taken a liking to Smith.  “They’re telling me about their campus and their atmosphere,” Smith told NY2LASPORTS.COM“They said they’re going to come to a few of my games this year. They want me to come up there for a visit.”

Smith said the Bison are standing out early in his recruitment.  “I know they play hard,” he said. “They’re always working. When they text me, they’re always out running or in the weight room. I know they’re working 24-7.” 

North Dakota State, Indiana State, Northern Illinois, and a host of Division 2 schools are showing interest in Smith this fall. Kent State was also linked to Smith over the summer.  Smith attended Northern Illinois’ elite camp in August.  “They see me as a Division 1 player,” said Smith. “They said they really liked my game and I stood out amongst the competition.”

He also took an unofficial visit following camp.  “Their dorm rooms are new,” he said. “The campus is clean and nice. The people were real friendly. It was like a family.”

Entering his junior season, Smith will be looking to prove he belongs on the Division 1 stage and is more than confident the offers will start coming his way.  “I feel like I definitely have what it takes to play at the mid-major level,” he said. “If I keep working on my game, I think I can hang with the high major guards. I know I have to keep getting better though.”

Smith plays for the SW Illinois Jets during the travel season.