Exclusive Portrait Shots of Prep Basketball’s “god of dunk”

Portrait of a Basketball Artist as a Young Man: By John David Pittman
Portrait of a Basketball Artist as a Young Man: By John David Pittman

Perhaps fitting the Nike pullover Malik Monk is rocking in this picture is definitively old school. He is, after all, constantly pursuing mastery of the game’s timeless fundamentals – whether that’s making the correct dribble or pass in a half-court set, or taking the right angle on post defense.

By John David Pittman
By John David Pittman

But the 16-year-old Monk wouldn’t be one of the nation’s hottest recruits if his game didn’t also incorporate jaw-droppingly futuristic

By - you guessed it - John David Pittman
By – you guessed it – John David Pittman

athleticism. That fusion, along with his story of escaping poverty for a better life in the Mecca of Walmart, provided the impetus for this CBS Sports feature .

Major kudos go to my Max Preps editor Mitch Stephens, who was willing to invest a lot of time and money in a multimedia feature that includes the work of talented Arkansan photographers and videographers.

I was really glad to work with freelance photographer John David Pittman¬†on this. Along with videographer Matt Johnson, we went up to Conway last week to report on Bentonville’s quarterfinal game against Cabot. Considering Pittman and I live just a few houses apart in North Little Rock, it’s a shame this was our first assignment together. Hopefully, we’ll collaborate on other assignments even after I move to Benton County this summer.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

And make sure to check out what’s shaping up to be an epic Parkview-Joneboro title game in Hot Springs tomorrow night.