ESU’s Hluchoweckyj earns pro contract

Local Sports

July 23, 2019-Emporia State’s Malik Hluchoweckyj has signed a professional contract with KK Bratunac of the Bosnia BiH Liga. He is the second Hornet men’s basketball player to sign professionally after this past season. Hassan Thomas signed with Sampaense Basket of Portugal Proliga earlier this summer.

“Getting the chance to play professionally has always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” said Hluchoweckyj. “So getting this opportunity is a blessing because I get to do what I love for a living.”

Hluchoweckyj averaged 11.7 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Hornets as a senior in 2018-19. The 6-1 guard shot .504 from the field adn .395 from behind the three-point line with a team high 93 assists on the season. He had a career high 24 points on eight of 12 shooting from the field including five three-pointers at Northeastern State. He reached double figures in 17 games with at least five assists in seven games. 

“We are very proud of Malik on getting an opportunity to play professional basketball overseas,” said Emporia State head men’s basketball coach Craig Doty. “He was so impressive and showed incredible growth on and off the court last season.”

He averaged 5.4 points for the Hornets as a junior. He had 15 points at Washburn. He dished five assists at Lindenwood. He scored 14 points with six rebounds against Northwestern Oklahoma.

“Malik proved a lot of people wrong his senior season,” said Doty. “He earned the starting spot at point guard and more than doubled his scoring average from the previous season. Along the way he proved how efficient he can be shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from the three point line. These numbers, in combination with helping our team double the conference win total from the previous season, along with his outstanding athleticism, helped him earn this professional opportunity.”

He played in 21 games over two years at Bowling Green State before transferring to Emporia State.

“ESU helped grow me tremendously. Coach Vandiver and his staff taught me so much about being a man and how to be accountable,” said Hluchoweckyj. “Coach Doty and his staff taught me how to be a true professional and how a new group of individuals can come together from all over the world with different backgrounds to accomplish one goal.”

Hluchoweckyj will leave for Bosnia in August. KK Bratunac competes in the BiH Liga, the the first division league in Bosnia. They have a 28 game schedule that runs from October to April, with exhibition games starting in September. They were 12-14 last season.

This is the first time the Hornets have had two players sign to play professionally in the same year.

Emporia State ended the season 14-16, 8-11 in the MIAA, an improvement of five wins overall from last season and double their conference wins. The 14 wins under Coach Craig Doty are tied for the second most by a first year Hornet coach. Their season ended with an 82-79 loss to #1 Northwest Missouri in the MIAA Tournament, the closest game for the national champion Bearcats during the post-season.

Courtesy: ESU Athletics

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