PREP SPORTS: Good Hope’s Malin signs to play football & basketball at Millsaps

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Tanner Malin is joined by his parents and coaches as he signs his letter of intent to play at Millsaps College Thursday afternoon. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – Students, teachers, coaches, teammates and family filled D.E. Ryan Gymnasium at Good Hope High School Thursday afternoon to hear the college announcement of one Raider standout and he did not disappoint. Good Hope football and basketball star Tanner Malin made his decision and signed his national letter of intent to play both sports at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Last season on the football field, Malin helped lead the Raiders to the 4A State Quarterfinals and finished the year with All-County Offensive MVP, All-Region Offensive Player of the Year and first team All-State honors. On the hardwood, Malin helped lead the Raiders to a County Championship, earned All-County honors and was the recipient of this year’s Joe Schults award.

Just before announcing his decision, Tanner took a few moments to thank everyone and everything that has helped him earn this opportunity and achieve one of his biggest goals, starting with his faith and his family.

“I wouldn’t be in this position without God blessing me and allowing me to do everything I’ve done. Without that I would be nothing,” Malin said. “I want to thank my parents, they’ve made a lot of sacrifices over the years, allowing me to go camps, visit schools, get in the gym, get in the weight room and do everything. I wouldn’t be in this position without them, they’ve done everything they could for me to have the opportunity that I have and to make a better future for myself.”

Next, Malin thanked his coaches for guiding him as a player and a person on both the football field and on the basketball court.

“My coaches have taught me everything I know. They’ve given me support and believed in me,” Malin said. “They made me feel like the best player, they made me feel like a man and they turned me into the man I can be.

And finally, Malin thanked his fellow Raiders students and teammates in the crowd for all the support they’ve shown him over the last several years.

“I want to thank all of you for the support. I played for all of you,” Malin said. “Anytime I saw the crowd, and everyone was jumping around it just made me want to play so much better and put so much more on and just perform for y’all.”

Raiders Head Football Coach Alan Scott was excited to see so many come out and show their support for one of his biggest impact players, especially after watching Malin put in the work to earn this special moment.

“What an awesome experience this is. For me as a coach, nothing makes you feel any better than seeing players who work very hard and want to be the very best get an opportunity to have a day like today,” Scott said. “I’m very thankful for what Tanner has done for himself through the years here at Good Hope but also for this community. We’ve had four of the best years in school history and he’s been a key part of that every step of the way.”

Good Hope Head Basketball Coach Drew Adams echoed many of Scott’s sentiments, adding that Malin’s leadership and toughness were crucial for the Raiders’ success on the hardwood as well.

“He’s just a special kid. Tanner is the first kid so far that I’ve coached for four years. He was up on varsity as a ninth grader playing on some of those really good teams when he was younger with Cole (Maddox) and Drew (Maddox) and those other strong seniors. Then he was kind of handed the reins when they graduated and he really never looked back from there, he’s been our go-to guy for the last several years,” Adams said. “He’s just a warrior. Not a lot of people knew that he had torn his labrum, we didn’t even know until after the basketball season. He tore it during football season and probably could’ve had surgery, but he wanted to stick it out and play with his guys. He just kept pushing through and to me that just shows what his career was like. He’s just a fighter. He’s a special kid and he means a lot to us.”

Tanner has collected multiple college offers during the recruiting process but when he visited Millsaps, he knew he felt at home. He’s looking forward to getting started with the Majors but knows he’ll miss playing for his community.

“When I first got there, I felt like I was at home. They told me from the jump that I’m not going to be just another number there. They made me feel like a person, like I was wanted. The campus is beautiful, the facilities are beautiful and everything about it just made me feel at home,” Malin said. “The support is really what I’m going to miss the most. Most football games and most basketball games were always packed crowds, and you’d look up and see everyone you know. That’s going to be an adjustment but that’s what I’ll miss the most.”

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