In an appearance on The Buckeye Show on 97.1 The Fan last week, the Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann indicated that the freshman Malaki Branham may try to lobby a former OSU to wear his retired uniform number.
Branham, one of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, apparently wants to wear the # 22 uniform for Scarlet and Grays. This number was withdrawn in 2001 in honor of Jim Jackson, who was two-time U.S. and National Player of the Year in his three-year run with the Buckeyes between 1990-92.
Show host Tim Hall asked Holtmann if he should give Branham the special OSU locker reserved for James lebron to get him to sign with the Buckeyes.
Holtmann laughed and replied, “Malaki, what a special child he is. He’s a young man that people will love to watch and get to know. It is a versatile and multiposition guard. I don’t think you put him in a particular position.
“The most important thing for him is that he and I both have to write a letter or ask him to pick up the phone and call Jimmy Jackson because he really wants to port that number. We will see how it goes. But he is a special child and we are very happy to have him.
Jackson, a longtime former NBA player, has stayed close to the game as a commentator for FOX college basketball coverage, including a number of appearances on the Big Ten and Ohio State games in recent years. years. He is also active as a commentator for CBS and TBS on the NCAA tournament.
You can check out Holtmann’s entire 15-minute segment on The Buckeye Show by clicking the link in the tweet below.
Other topics covered in the interview included the changing college basketball climate with the transfer portal, how busy June will be with hosting prospects and going out for live assessments, overcoming the loss of the NCAA team to Oral Roberts. , general thoughts on the 2020-21 season, what the 2021-22 schedule might look like, how EJ Liddell and Duane Washington Jr. go through the professional process and more.
– Buckeye Show (@TheBuckeyeShow) May 18, 2021
6-5 Branham were recognized last weekend as one of 60 nationally named players in the Jordan Classic All-Star Game roster. The game will not be played due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Branham arrived just short of his career high as he finished with 37 points, four rebounds and three assists with his Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s team earned a 72-50 victory over Columbus DeSales in the Division II men’s basketball state championship game in March.
Branham, who signed to play for Ohio State in November, was 15 of 21 in shooting (0 for 2 of three) and 7 of 8 on the free throw line to lead the Irish to a record ninth State Championship . The SVSM last won it in 2018, when Branham was a freshman.
Branham, a native of Columbus, addressed Ohio state last July, picking the Buckeyes over Louisville, Xavier, Baylor, Alabama and Michigan. Holtmann and his staff have made signing Branham a priority almost since arriving at the school in June 2017.
Last season, Branham averaged about 22 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. He shared the Division II District Player of the Year award with Akron Buchtel junior Chris Livingston and was named the winner of the 2021 Mr. Ohio Basketball Award.
Last season, Branham averaged around 20.2 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game as SVSM ranked 20-4 and advanced to Regional Division II before the tournament was called off due to of the Covid-19 pandemic. Branham was an All-Ohio first team pick in Division II as a junior. This season was highlighted with a 44-point Branham game against Trotwood-Madison at the Flyin ‘To The Hoop event near Dayton.
He helped lead the SVSM to the four Division I finalists as a sophomore in 2018-19.
Branham is joined in the recruiting class of 2021 by forward from Convoy (Ohio) Crestview Kalen etzler and Garfield Heights, Ohio, guard Meechie Johnson, although Johnson has already signed up for OSU for the winter semester and served as a backup guard for the Buckeyes this season. Branham and Etzler are expected on the OSU campus in mid-June.
Relive the excitement of the 2014 OSU National Championship. Click here for more information.