Kansas State Wildcats basketball recruiting Samson Aletan Dallas Texas Jerome Tang Ulric Maligi
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Assistant Ulric Maligi impressing another 2023 Dallas prospect

Ulric Maligi
Ulric Maligi (Kansas State Athletics)

Kansas State has offered five prospects apart of the Texas-based AAU club, Southern Assault.

The first one was extended to Isaiah Manning in April while the other four went out to Hudson Greer, Micah Robinson, Kayden Edwards, and Samson Aletan all in the month of June. Associate head coach Ulric Maligi is their primary recruiter.

We caught up with Aletan to discuss his first high-major offer, which came this past weekend at the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) tournament.

"It happened right after the second day of TABC," Aletan revealed. "(Coach Maligi) was the second coach to call me, and he gave me a scholarship offer. I was shocked because Kansas State is a big-time school, so the fact that I impressed them this much was honestly amazing."

"That was the first time he reached out to me," he continued. "My first initial thoughts were that he’s straight-forward and honest and he even tried to connect me and my personal life. So, we can get a relationship built up."

The two even spoke about something near and dear to both of their families.

"With my mom being born in Nigeria, we talked about Nigerian foods and which ones we liked and didn’t like," Aletan mentioned.

Aletan isn't a flashy recruit, but he's worked hard to get better at the little things and Maligi has taken notice.

"He was a fan of how I rebounded and protected the rim, along with my hook shot," Aletan shared. "He thinks he can develop me at K-State like he’s done with previous bigs to potentially go pro."

The thought of a visit has been mentioned, but it hasn't been more than surface-level conversation between the two.

"The idea came up but we haven’t officially started discussing it yet," Aletan informed. "I’ll likely take my visits at the end of the Summer or early Fall."

What has changed in his process to be receiving plenty attention from high-major schools?

"I think it’s just me being more consistent throughout the game as my motor now is much improved from what it was last year," Aletan said. "And it’s something I’m going to continue to work on."

Houston and SMU both offered soon after the Wildcats, too. Both schools reside in his home state of Texas, and SMU happens to be closer than any other program to his hometown.

"I’m a fan of both," Aletan admitted. "Houston has consistently been a great and hard-working basketball program, and SMU is probably the closest Division I school to my home."

Jamie Dixon
Jamie Dixon (AP)

While Aletan acknowledged that his family would rather him remain closer to home, it isn't something that is particularly important to him on a personal level. That hasn't moved the needle for him much at all.

"Whichever program is the best fit for me I’ll go to," he explained. "Though my mother prefers me to choose a school close by to watch my games, but distance doesn’t affect me too much."

The big man from Texas has visited TCU, Oral Roberts and Sam Houston State in the past. Jamie Dixon and the Horned Frogs have continued to recruit Aletan, and this week followed K-State and Houston's lead by extending their offer.

"I think they have a great thing going on thanks to Coach Dixon and the rest of their staff, and they have really nice facilities," Aletan said.

"Every school that has offered me still actively talks to me, including Nevada, Oral Roberts, Sam Houston State, Saint Louis and more," he added. "Most of these offers are fairly new, so I haven’t put any school behind."

Aletan hopes to announce his college decision "sometime in the fall" but admitted he hasn't given it that much thought. He does know the kind institution he's looking for when searching for his ultimate destination.

"A program that has a great culture," he replied. "One that is really good with player development and can get me a good education off the court."