SEABROOK – After averaging 18 points and nine rebounds per game at Hargrave Prep, Naji Marshall, a former 2016 Maryland state basketball champion, will chase his childhood dream of going to college and hopefully one day making it to the NBA. “My goal is to make it to the NBA in my first two years […]
SEABROOK – After averaging 18 points and nine rebounds per game at Hargrave Prep, Naji Marshall, a former 2016 Maryland state basketball champion, will chase his childhood dream of going to college and hopefully one day making it to the NBA.
“My goal is to make it to the NBA in my first two years of college. I want to be able to take the team to the first final four in school history,” Marshall said.
On June 26, Marshall will head off to Xavier after a great year at Hargrave. He will join other 2017 recruits like Paul Scruggs, Jared Ridder, Elias Harden and Kentrevious Jones.
The Xavier Musketeers are coming off a 24-14 season after losing to Gonzaga 83-59 in an NCAA Elite Eight game. Marshall is a long athletic wing that can score both inside and outside, is a terrific shot blocker, and rebounds well for his size at the guard position.
“I think I am ready skill-wise, but I have to get stronger and faster,” Marshall said. “I just try to improve my game in every way I can. I think prep improved my game and got me ready for college basketball.”
Marshall led Hargrave to a record of 43-2 this past season.
“Prep was really good because I came here to get better and I did,” Marshall said. “I played against a lot of great talent from Oak Hill Academy and Huntington Prep.”
A close friend of Marshall’s, Aboubacar Camara, could tell he was going to make it from the first time he saw him at an AAU basketball tryout.
“I met Naji at a Team Chaos basketball tryout. He was long and athletic even back then and he just had a knack for scoring and playing the game with passion,” Camara said. “All the success he had in high school and even now is no surprise to me because his sophomore year when we would have workouts at school, you could tell he was a special player by his playmaking abilities.
“Off the court, Naji is a great dude. He loves to have fun and I think he is going to fit in well with Xavier. He has so much potential.”
Marshall was a role model for the younger guys while on the Eleanor Roosevelt High School basketball team. He had a significant influence on this year’s leading scorer Barly Kanu, who said he learned a lot from Marshall by watching him during his senior year.
“The biggest thing I learned is that when things aren’t going your way you have to keep pushing and excel,” Kanu said. “He always gives me great advice, especially to keep pushing to get what I want.”