Malik Monk has only played one season at Kentucky, but he was among the top picks at the 2017 NBA Draft. He fell to 11th, with the Charlotte Hornetts taking Monk. The 19-year-old from Jonesboro, Arkansas is the son of Michael Scales and Jacaynlene Monk. His brother is former football player Marcus Monk.
Monk stands 6-foot-3, according to his UK bio. The guard attended Bentonville High School in Bentonville, Arkansas. In his one season at Kentucky, he averaged 19.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He played in 38 games, starting all but one of them.
Here’s what you need to know about Malik’s family.
1. Monk’s Brother Marcus Played Football at Arkansas
Monk’s older half-brother is Marcus Monk. The 31-year-old played wide receiver for the University of Arkansas. He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, but never made it beyond the Bears, Giants and Panthers practice squads. By 2009, he was out of football by 2009.
Marcus played both football and basketball in high school and college. He won a state championship in 2004 with the East Poinsett High School basketball team and played a handful of games with the Razorbacks before deciding to focus on football.
Marcus has been a big influence in Monk’s life. It was reported that Monk thought about going to Arkansas, but Marcus dissuaded him, citing “distractions.” So, Monk chose Kentucky instead.
2. His Uncle Chuck Was a Running Back for Arkansas State
Monk’s uncle is Chuck Monk, who played for Arkansas State in 1990 and 1991. According to Sports-Reference.com, Monk appeared in just 16 games over his two seasons, with two touchdowns and 203 rushing yards.
According to Sporting Life Arkansas, Chuck started his college career at the University of Arkansas, but he decided to transfer to Arkansas State University because he was homesick. Marcus told Sporting Life Arkansas that Chuck lives in Jonesboro and is “doing well.”
3. Cousin Rashad Madden Played Basketball at Arkansas
Monk’s cousin is Rashad Madden, who also played at East Poinsett County High School. He played for Arkansas for four years, graduating in 2015.
While Monk is expected to have success in the NBA, his cousin didn’t fare so well. He wasn’t drafted, but in June 2015, the Memphis Grizzlies invited him to join the team for the Summer League. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old Madden, that didn’t result in an NBA contract.
Later in 2015, Madden moved to Poland, where he played a season for the Śląsk Wrocław. He then moved to Greece to play for the Rethymno Cretan Kings.
Since 2016, Madden has been in Israel, playing for Hapoel Ramat Gan Givataim.
4. Father Michael Scales is an Arkansas Carpenter
Monk’s father is Michael Scales, who is a local carpenter, MaxPreps reported in 2014. Scales also coached Monk in youth leagues before he went to East Poinsett County High School.
SBNation notes that Monk’s mother and Scales did not live together. Monk and Marcus grew up in Lepanto, where Scales worked as a carpenter. Before his sophomore year in high school, Monk and his mother moved to Bentonville in Northwest Arkansas to be with Marcus. They also wanted to be in a part of the state where the economy was booming.
“There are just no jobs,” Marcus Arkansas Online. “People have to go out 40-45 minutes from here to find work.”
5. Mother Jacaylene Worked for the Local School District
As MaxPreps.com notes, when they moved to Bentonville, Monk and his mother Jacaylene “Jackie” Monk were trying to escape a tough economic environment. At the time, Jackie was a teacher’s aide and earned $14,649. She needed help from their cousins, the Maddens, who lived nearby.
Arkansas Online reports that Jackie tried to find work, but it just didn’t work out.
Marcus knew that moving to Bentonville would be in his younger brother’s best interests.
“The schools up here are second-to-none. As far as academics, Malik is going to be taken care of, and that’s first and foremost,” Marcus told Arkansas Online. “He has decent grades, but here he’ll have to focus on his work and take care of business. As far as basketball, he’ll be somewhere with a staff I can trust and know they are going to treat him like they will treat the other players on the team.”
The move paid off, and Monk earned plenty of accolades while at Bentonville High. In 2016, he was Mr. Basketball of Arkansas and a McDonald’s All-American.
While at Kentucky, Monk continued his success. He was the Associated Press’ SEC Player of the Year and won the 2017 Jerry West Award. He was also the 2017 SEC Freshman of the Year.
“Actually, my whole family was around basketball,” Malik told Kentucky.com. “My mom used to play all the time. She used to play until she had my brother.”