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The term efficient is defined as achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. Landmark Christian senior Micah McAllister’s shooting stroke accurately places him in that category.
Unfortunately, I was only able to see McAllister prove how efficient he can be in one game this past season, a 30-point outing which included five 3-pointers on 7-of-12 shooting (58 percent) from the field and 11-of-12 successful shots at the foul line. Armed with a quick release, McAllister gave Lovett’s defense all it could handle due to his ability to pull up without hesitation after getting a screen or receiving the ball on a dribble handoff.
With the inclusion of the other 27 games he played this season, McAllister finished the season averaging 26 points a game, while shooting 44 percent overall, 43 percent from the arc and 89 percent from the free-throw line.
After pushing his career total in points to 1,884 with 356 3-pointers and 390 free throws, McAllister was named a starter in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) North-South Senior All-Star Game, which he said was a lot of fun and a good experience.
Then on the last day of March, McAllister spoke with me about his final season at Landmark Christian, what inspired him to play basketball, his experience of playing with his dad (Chip McAllister) as the coach, and more in this edition of 1-on-1.
As a junior your scoring average was 22 points a game then this past season you increased it to 26 points a game. Why do you think you were able to do that?
I’m a pretty hard worker. I’m in the gym all the time working, shooting. My dad always tells me if I want to be great I got to work as hard as I can because I’m not the most athletic or fastest but I can shoot. I work hard and I’m very competitive. My competitiveness wills me every game to give my team the best possible chance.
I grew up watching Michael Jordan and everybody always talked about his competitive drive, and how it was so crazy. Do you feel like your competitive drive is in that ballpark?
Obviously, I’m not as talented as Michael Jordan but from anything like basketball to checkers I’m going to try as hard as I can to win. I’ve always felt like that.
What influenced you to play basketball?
My dad has been a coach for a long time and he just made me love the game of basketball. I was born with this competitiveness and whenever I played any sport out at recess with my friends I just wanted to win every day and I would get so upset when I’d lose. Basketball kind of came naturally to me and my dad was also a coach and he taught me everything I know.
How is it different having your father as your coach?
Well, he’s pretty tough on me. The toughest on me than any other player on the team. He always tells me if I didn’t think you were good I wouldn’t be so tough on you. Remember if I’m yelling at you, I’m doing it because I know you are good. He knows my potential so he tells me every little thing that I do wrong and helps me correct it. He is my biggest critic.
What was your best game of your senior season?
I have two games that were my best. Against Fulton Leadership Academy, I had 49 points and eight rebounds. It was a really big game. It was at home and everybody was there. It was a crazy experience. I broke the school record and it was a really fun game. Then we played Our Lady of Mercy and I had 39. I was 7-for-12 from 3. That was a really fun game.
What are your thoughts about your time playing at Landmark Christian?
I played all four years in high school and it was a crazy experience. I remember the first 3 I hit. My first game at Landmark I had 15 points. I was 5 of 11 from 3. During the game, I hit two or three 3s in a row and the crowd was like he’s a freshman. They were chanting that. It made me happy and it was so hard not to smile. All four years were crazy fun.
(McAllister is pondering attending prep school or accepting a scholarship offer from Covenant College, Birmingham Southern, Oglethorpe University or Anderson University. He said there is a possibility of sports management being his major but he wants to play as long as possible then become a basketball coach.)
Did anyone inspire your style of play?
Steve Nash when I was younger. I loved watching him play and he was reallyh crafty so I just tried to model after him then of course Stephen Curry now. The way he shoots the ball I love that and his range is crazy. I just try to play like him too.
When it comes to your beliefs as a Christian, how do you try to use basketball as a tool?
I’m a strong Christian. I pray and I believe that God instilled that competitiveness in me and gives me the gift to play every day. I play for him and give it all back to him. I write Bible verses on my shoes so people that see me on the court can see that God has given me this ability. If they don’t know what is on my shoes somebody can tell them. Anything I can do to get the message out to other people I try to do it.