Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Five-star big man Khaman Maluach visits Kansas with Kentucky up next
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Five-star big man Khaman Maluach visited Kansas this weekend for the No. 4 Jayhawk’s 64-61 win over No. 13 Baylor on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
The 7-foot-2 native of South Sudan visited Duke last month and has trips set to Kentucky (Monday), G League Ignite (Feb. 21) and UCLA (Feb. 23).
“He has a chance to be the next Joel Embiid,” Blair Academy (N.J.) coach Joe Mantegna, who has coached Maluach with the South Sudan national team and will serve as an assistant coach with South Sudan in next summer’s Paris Olympics, told ZAGSBLOG.
Maluach, who has a 7-foot-6 wingspan, currently plays for NBA Academy Africa and recently competed in the G League Winter Showcase in Orlando, Fla. Maluach just reclassified and will finish high school next summer, making him eligible for the 2025 NBA Draft, per ESPN.
“I think I am ready to play at that level,” Maluach told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. “I’ve played against some of the top guys in 2024 and 2025, and against pros in the FIBA World Cup. Playing against guys who are stronger and more experienced helped me realize where I stand and what I need to work on.”
Said Mantegna: “He’s 7-foot-2, he’s a fluid athlete, he plays with an unbelievable edge and he has a really high skill level and IQ,.
“I mean, he’s been playing at the highest level for a long time, he understands the game deeply and he has a remarkable competitive edge. “If he goes to college, he’s going to be a game-changer day one upon arrival.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.