By Jalisa Bannerman
DiMari Malone’s exceptional skills on both offense and defense make him a true dual threat on the football field.
As a two-year veteran of the Sound Mind Sound Body program, Malone has consistently worked hard and focused on the possible returns of his investments, which have helped him become the successful athlete he is today.
For Malone, attending SMSB weekly practices means much more than just showing up. It’s about skill development, building connections, and gaining exposure to college recruiters. “When I go to practice, there is always a return. A return in skill development, recruitment, and building connections,” he said.
The 6’2, 215 lbs outside linebacker has already made a name for himself in the football community. He has been named in both the 2023 All-MAC football team and the 2023 Detroit News All-East High School Football Teams. As the Macomb Dakota stat leader, Malone made 73 stops, caught three interceptions, and forced three fumbles. He also demonstrated his versatility by playing tight end.
Malone’s efforts on and off the field have paid off, as he has already received 12 offers from various colleges, including Western Michigan, Massachusetts, Toledo, Buffalo, and Illinois. His mental toughness and dedication to hard work are evident in his achievements.
Being a part of SMSB has not only helped Malone excel on the field but also off the field.
His mother, Shaniqur Lawrence, has noticed significant changes in her son’s communication skills and self-sufficiency since he joined the program. “Being in the program has helped him be a better communicator, and the traveling aspect has helped him learn how to be more self-sufficient. I can send him out of town and not be frantic about our distance. My reassurance comes from his development in the program and the way Blackwell encourages them to communicate without delay,” she said.
For SMSB, being a student always comes before being able to participate in any athletic experience, and this standard has been woven into the DNA of the program since its existence. Malone has learned two important takeaways from being a part of SMSB: pushing through adversity and the importance of time management.
He considers visiting Miami each year with SMSB a program tradition and looks forward to touring the school and competing in the 7v7 tournament. Other standout visits for Malone include trips down south to Texas, TN, and GA, where students visited the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, toured the MLK memorial, and explored the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr.
Overall, Malone’s dedication to his craft, mental toughness, and commitment to being a well-rounded student-athlete have made him a standout player both on and off the field.
About Sound Mind Sound Body Youth Association:
Sound Mind Sound Body (SMSB) is a proven platform that ensures students matriculate to post-secondary education by successfully prioritizing and balancing a unique curriculum that combines life skills, athleticism, and academics. STUDENT + ATHLETE + SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY + SOUND DECISION MAKING = SUCCESS.
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