Chris Holtmann’s Buckeyes Land Ohio’s Top Prospect in 2021

Malaki Branham, a 6 foot 4 inch 175 lb shooting guard out of Akron’s St. Vincent St. Mary High School and a Columbus native, committed this afternoon to play his college basketball for Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes, picking Ohio State over Xavier, Louisville, Michigan and Alabama.  Branham, the top ranked prospect in the state of Ohio and the 27th best overall recruit in America will join a backcourt that includes 2021 point guard commit, Meechie Johnson. With the departure of CJ Walker and Abel Porter, Branham and Johnson will join Duane Washington and Bucknell transfer Jimmy Sotos to form an explosive backcourt in the 2021-22 season.  Branham is coming off a junior season where he averaged over 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists per game, leading SVSM to a 20-4 record and an appearance in the Ohio Division II regional before the tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic. He is a prolific scorer who can score at multiple levels on the floor and will likely see most of his time at the 2 in Chris Holtmann’s system but has the handle to run the point if needed. Branham and Johnson along with previous commit, Kalen Etzler, combine to form one of the top recruiting classes in the Big Ten and cements Coach Holtmann’s foothold on the state of Ohio for the 2021 cycle.

-Jason Harris

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