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Star Freshman Malik Mack Will Transfer To Georgetown in Massive Blow To Harvard

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Harvard men’s basketball star freshman point guard Malik Mack will transfer to the Georgetown Hoyas next year, a major blow to a Crimson squad for which Mack was one of the sole bright spots last season.​

Mack, who declined to comment on his decision to transfer, was a standout player for Head Coach Tommy Amaker for the 2023-2024 campaign, who had heavily recruited Mack prior to his decision to attend Harvard.

The Crimson’s longtime coach congratulated Mack in a statement on Wednesday.

“I know this was a difficult but very thoughtful decision,” Amaker wrote. “I support him, I am very proud of him and I love him.”

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After rebounding from mononucleosis this past fall, Mack went on to earn eight-straight Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors, a feat matched by only three other players – Michael Jordan, Adam Gore, and Evan Boudreaux. Made even more impressive by his shortened season, Mack set the single-season freshman point record for the Crimson with 413.

Mack was lethal on the offense for Harvard, scoring double digit figures in all but three games in his campaign while averaging 17.2 points, four rebounds, and 4.8 assists. Leading the Crimson in assists, points, free throw percentage, minutes per game, and steals, the freshman was awarded First-Team and Rookie of the Year ECAC honors. Mack also ended the season with the Ivy League Rookie of the Year accolade.

He will depart Cambridge with three years of eligibility to play for the Hoyas, who went 22-73 over the past three seasons. The Georgetown team is led by Ed Cooley who just wrapped up his second season at the helm of the squad. Mack’s decision to join Georgetown’s roster will be a boon to Cooley’s rebuilding efforts.

The commitment to Georgetown comes three weeks after Mack entered the transfer portal. His departure was the subject of speculation for months as Mack was expected to explore Name, Image, and Likeness deals at another school.

Mack and his family have previously spoken about weighing the benefits of a Harvard degree against the financial pressures of not having an athletic scholarship or the potential to make money through an NIL collective—an independent group funded by donors that pays players.

Harvard, and other Ivy League schools, currently has no NIL collectives—unlike Georgetown where Mack could make up to high six-figures. While the school can’t restrict donors from forming a collective, Harvard Athletic Director Erin McDermott said in a recent interview with The Crimson last week that she hasn’t heard of any interest in forming one.

Mack’s decision to transfer would confirm concerns from some alumni that Harvard’s lack of NIL collectives could cause the school to lose top talent.

McDermott acknowledged in the interview that not having an NIL collective might hurt Harvard’s competitiveness in men’s basketball, but noted that the school has historically stayed competitive despite not offering athletic scholarships.

Mack’s departure, however, will force Amaker to get creative as he looks to field a competitive team that can end the Crimson’s recent streak of missing the Ivy League Madness tournament. The Crimson have finished 5-9 in Ivy League play in each of the past three seasons.

—Staff writer Katharine A. Forst can be reached at katharine.forst@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Jo B. Lemann can be reached at jo.lemann@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @Jo_Lemann.

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