SAN ANTONIO — With the 20th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs selected guard Malaki Branham from Ohio State.
Branham played one season at Ohio State University, averaging 13.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 32 games while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor. He finished second in the Big Ten in free throw percentage at 83.3 percent.
Following his selection, we caught up with him for a quick Q&A about his early team bonding with his fellow 2022 NBA rookie - Jeremy Sochan - and much more.
Jeff: You were talking about how you bonded with Sochan? What were you both talking about this whole process?
Malaki: We just kind of been checking in on each other.
I felt like that was just a big part of seeing how workouts were going, how he did, and we were just kind of just talking about the draft process leading up to this moment that we are now.
I felt like it was just us getting to know each other.
Jeff: We talked a little while ago and you told me that you had a really good workout with the Spurs. Even your eyes lit up. What's it about that workout?
Malaki: I felt like it was just my competitiveness. It [workout] had first-round guys and a couple of lottery picks. I was in there [workout] just competing at the highest level that I could and I felt like I did my thing.
Jeff: Are you ready to be coached by Gregg Popovich?
Malaki: I'm super excited. He's going to let me know what I need to work on, and develop me and I can't wait!
Jeff: Who are you looking forward to competing against in team practice?
Malaki: I probably say, Dejounte Murray.
Because he's a great defender and me just knowing how to make my moves against greater defenders, it's gonna make me even better!