2019 NBA draft prospect Marial Shayok: 'My long arms make it tough for guys that I'm guarding'

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

2019 NBA draft prospect Marial Shayok: 'My long arms make it tough for guys that I'm guarding'


2019 NBA draft prospect Marial Shayok: 'My long arms make it tough for guys that I'm guarding'

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Marial Shayok took home All-Tournament honors at PIT for seniors and then shined at both the 2019 G League Elite Camp and the NBA Combine.

The former Iowa State standout measured above 6-foot-5 with shoes and has a 7-foot wingspan. His shuttle run (3.04 seconds) ranked Top 5 among all forwards at the 2019 NBA Combine. The Canadian prospect had 7 rebounds in his first combine scrimmage game and then followed it up with 11 points (3-for-5 on 3-pointers) and 6 rebounds during the second scrimmage.

But success is nothing new for Shayok, who earned first-team All-Big 12 and Big 12 Tournament MVP last season largely thanks to his efficient jumper off the catch and the dribble. He spoke to HoopsHype about the work he has put in to get to where he is today.

How have you been preparing for the 2019 NBA draft?

Marial Shayok: When the season ended, I started working out in Los Angeles with Chris Johnson. The workouts have been great. We start pretty early and do our strength and conditioning with Travelle Gaines. It’s been a good amount of guys in the gym. Andrew Nembhard, the point guard from Florida, was out there with us and Cameron Johnson and Charles Bassey before he decided to return to Western Kentucky. There have been some pros, too, like James Young and a few others as well. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m trying to win each day, get the most of each day and it will result in landing on an NBA roster and being a key part to the team.

What do you think helps separate yourself from other similar prospects during workouts? 

MS: My maturity, knowing I was a senior that played a few more guys than some of the younger guys, really helps me come out and play my game with the most confidence. I really trust myself and my work. I just want to show my knowledge of the game and come out and be a two-way guy to the best of my ability. I can make open shots and have a feel good for the player that I am, so I’m going to go out there and prove it. I really try to use my length to my advantage, too. My long arms make it tough for guys that I’m guarding if they are shorter than I am and also guys that are taller than I am.

What kind of feedback have you gotten so far throughout this whole process?

MS: Everything has gone pretty well. I’ve heard I’m a pretty good shooter and I just have to make sure I go out there and be the best defender that I can possibly be and play within my game. I feel good about being able to guard one through three on defense.

What are you most proud of your achievements during college?

MS: Every year was great. We won a lot of games and going to Iowa State from Virginia was a decision that I made was one because I trusted myself and trusted my work. I’m proud of the year we had last year. I showed that I could be an elite defender and shoot at a high level.

You did a fantastic job at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and the NBA G League Elite Camp, which got you a spot at the NBA Combine. What was your biggest takeaway from those opportunities?

MS: It was great playing with so many new prospects. I felt confident and it was a great way to help prepare me to become a pro. It was a blessing to be at both. I had a lot of meetings with teams, there was a lot going on. I felt I played pretty well and they were such great experiences. I did what I always do but in a shorter window.

What are some of the ways you think you can help an NBA team the most on offense? 

MS: Pick-and-roll is a big part of the league now. So I’m just trying to keep improving on that. I try to make the right reads and make simple plays for my team, which goes a long way for my teammates and myself. I also take a lot of pride in my jump shot. I know it’s something I can bring to the table for an NBA team. I’m comfortable as the ballhandler in transition, too, because we played with pace and Iowa State and it was the best part of our offense.

What’s your relationship like with Canadian basketball and the other players from the country in this draft class?

MS: I don’t get to go home too much. Whenever I do, it’s a great time to see my family and friends. I played for Team Canada when I was sixteen years old and we are all rooting for each other. We’re making a huge jump. I take a lot of pride being from Ottawa and I love to represent my city and also my country.

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