STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) — When former Trinity hoops standout Chance Westry transferred to the Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles earlier this summer, it made sense to think he would be the last player of his caliber to grace the Midstate for some time.
As it turns out, the next in line is already here, and it’s his former AAU teammate Malachi Palmer. Malachi hasn’t played a high schoool game yet to prove it, but the rising freshman’s resume speaks for itself.
The Harrisburg native burst onto the AAU scene in the fall of 2019, competing against the top players in the country and playing in front of NBA stars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. By the end of the circuit, some recruiting circles had him ranked as one of the five best players in the country for the Class of 2024.
“I knew from the start that I could play with the top players in the country,” he said. “But it was special for me to see that other people were finally recognizing my talent and what I could do.”
Malachi has been playing basketball since he was four years old, and his work ethic is unrivaled. Between lifting and playing basketball at local parks, he works out as many as seven hours a day.
That type of preparation is going to be more than welcome at Central Dauphin, where Palmer recently announced he would be playing this winter. He chose the Rams over other Harrisburg-area programs.
“I’m super excited,” he said of his decision.
Coaches around the country wanted Palmer to come suit up for them and play four years of basketball outside of Pennsylvania, but the youngster is here for now.
“I finally get to play in front of my hometown,” said Palmer, who’s normally playing everywhere but home. “I feel like it would be a challenge playing against older people, but I feel like I’m ready for it.”
Like Westry before him, it will be unlikely Palmer finishes his career with the Rams. Based on the hype and the eye test of watching the work he puts in behind the scenes, he will give the Midstate plenty to talk about while he’s here. Some day, he hopes to play in the pros.
“My dream was ever since I was little, is to play in the NBA,” he said. “That’s what I hope to do when I get older.”
If the 6-foot-4 guard (who could easily be 6-foot-7 by the time he graduates high school) does make the big time, he will always remember the city that brought him up.
“I was born and raised in Harrisburg, so putting the city on the map — that’s something that I will always keep in the back of my mind.”