Iowa State has to be leading the country in the number of high-profile recruits that never materialized/didn’t actually exist.
Today, we get to talk about Manny Malou.
Emmanuel Malou was an incredibly highly-touted junior college player with an interesting, if not downright saddening, back story.
The 6’9”, 210 pound wing/forward was one of the most sought-after players in the class of 2016. Malou had played guard until a growth spurt shot his height up, making him very skilled for his size. It didn’t take Power 5 schools long to come knocking. He would eventually sign with Iowa State, but everyone felt a little uneasy (albeit incredibly excited).
Malou was always somewhat of a question mark due to his back story, which included leaving Africa, prep school, multiple stops in Australia, a topsy-turvy home life, and a horrifying experience with the Des Moines-based ABCD AAU basketball program.
Malou did end up sticking at Yuba Junior College in Sacramento, California. During his last season in the program, Malou averaged 14.7 points, shot 54.4 percent overall and 47.3 percent from 3-point range, and grabbed 8.5 rebounds per game.
Prior to committing to Iowa State, Malou transferred to DMACC to work on improving his grades, as he carried various eligibility concerns. The prevailing thought at the time was that he may be ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Fearing the decision from the NCAA would not come before the NBA draft deadline, Malou had a tough decision to make.
It was during this waiting period in May of 2016 that Malou shocked everyone be deciding to pursue his NBA dream instead of joining the Cyclones: “After careful consideration, I have decided that it is time to pursue my NBA dream and sign with an agent... I know that it is going to require a huge amount of work, but I am motivated and excited for the challenges that lie ahead. I would like to thank all the staff at Iowa State for all that they have done for me. I want to wish them and the players the best of luck in the coming season.”
Malou’s NBA career was short-lived. Actually, he never really had one, going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft. He got hurt before the start of the NBA summer league, bounced around between a few D-League teams, and then disappeared.
It appears that Malou now resides in Australia, playing basketball at a somewhat professional level.
At the time of his signing, Emmanuel Malou would have been the highest-rated recruit to ever join the Cyclones. Alas, it was simply not to be.
Hey, at least Cameron Lard turned out to be a real person!