By Joseph Staszewski
Christ the King Coach Joe Arbitello told anyone who would listen during the season that Malik Harmon was a Division I point guard.
Now he is.
“That was my main goal since I started to go to high school,” said Harmon, who played his travel ball with New Heights. “I was going to college regardless, but I just wanted a scholarship to make it easy on my family.”
The senior has committed to play basketball at St. Francis College (Pa.) of the Northeast Conference next season. Harmon loved the smaller environment and felt comfortable at the school during his visit. Their loyalty was important, as he was in search of a Division I offer from schools such as Vermont, Siena and St. Francis of Brooklyn, that were also interested. Harmon also had looks from Division II C.W. Post and Adelphi.
“They really wanted me,” Harmon said of St. Francis (Pa.). “They were one of the only schools that really wanted me badly .… I felt that’s a school that wants me so I would want them.”
Harmon, an All-Queens first team selection by TimesLedger Newspapers, is coming off a big season with Christ the King. He was a key reason why the Royals claimed the CHSAA Class AA city title and the state Federation crown. Harmon, who ran the CK offense to perfection, scored 13 points in the state final win over Long Island Lutheran and scored the same, including game icing free throws, in the city semifinals against Cardinal Hayes.
Royals Butigian picks Wagner: Christ the King girls’ basketball forward Taylor Butigian verbally committed to play at Wagner College in the NEC next season. The senior had been looking at Division II schools such as Holy Family until the Seahawks showed interest during the season.
“There was a time I didn’t think I could, but I always had a feeling I could end up D-I (Division I),” she said.
Butigian, an All-Queens second team selection by TimesLedger, hit it off with Wagner Coach Lisa Cermingnano. She said the Seahawks’ half-court offensive style fit her game. Butigian joins Murry Bergtraum’s Jasmine Nwajei and Medgar Evers’ Shakila Small in the incoming recruiting class.
She is excited to join a program that appears to be on the rise.
“Coach Cermingnano is building the program back up,” Butigian said. “I’m happy that I get to help.”
She made great strides in expanding her offensive game playing with the NYC Warriors during the travel ball season. All of that came together in the home stretch of the CK season. Butigian scored 13 points and 10 rebound in a win over Bishop Ford and 19 points during a season ending loss to Moore Catholic.