K-State recruit Malek Harris nears decision

Malek Harris Malek Harris will choose where to play college basketball at 1 p.m. on Sunday at a ceremony at his family’s church.

The touted 6-foot-7 small forward from Orland Hills, Ill, is considering a handful of options, but Kansas State is favored to land Harris over Gonzaga and Virginia Tech.

Harris, the No. 80 player in the Rivals 2014 recruiting class originally committed to Marquette and Buzz Williams, but he began looking elsewhere when Williams left to take over as the head coach at Virginia Tech.

K-State coach Bruce Weber called Harris immediately after and convinced him to take an official visit to Manhattan. The visit went so well that Harris gave a soft verbal commitment to the Wildcats two weeks ago. He also canceled a scheduled visit to Virginia Tech, according to his AAU coach Mike Mullins.

If Harris signs with K-State, he will be the top-rated player Weber has landed in his two-plus years with the Wildcats.

But nothing will be official until Harris announces his college decision on Sunday.

“He enjoyed his visit to Kansas State,” said Mullins, who runs the Illinois Wolves AAU program. “Most official visits tend to be very good, otherwise something is wrong. But he really enjoyed the great family atmosphere. His mom was able to accompany him, and that was key. The first time through he was only looking to stay close to home and help his mom out. This time he was able to look a little further for a college.

“He wanted to wait and announce on Mother’s Day for his mother and his grandmother. They are big supporters for him.”

Harris has focused on basketball over the past few weeks, playing with the Wolves in two tournaments. His final AAU basketball game came over the weekend at the Spiece Run N’ Slam, which his team won.

Mullins describes Harris as “a versatile player that can create mismatch problems.” He said Harris is capable of playing all five positions, and is particularly gifted on defense.

Harris appears to be an ideal fit for K-State, which has one available scholarship for its 2014 recruiting class. Weber has said he wanted to add a tall, athletic wing player to round out K-State’s roster.

Mullins said Harris wants to make an immediate impact with a team that is on the rise.

“Kansas State is a team with a lot of strengths and high expectations for next year,” Mullins said. “They have a lot of returning good players. Malek is a guy who wants to come in and help a team win right away. He has been part of a successful team and he has won before. Now he wants to be a contributing factor for a winning college program and help it make a run.”

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