Division I bound: Malik Kemp signs to play baseball at Mississippi Valley State

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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LaGrange High graduate Malik Kemp is Division I bound. In just over a month’s time, the former Granger will be moving into Mississippi Valley State, where he will be playing baseball for the school in the spring.

“They offered me back at Carrollton High School. And since then they had a coaching change. And I reached out and the new coach liked me too and asked me to send some stuff over and he made me an offer,” Kemp said. “The coaching staff was great and always checked up on me during the season and financially they made me a great offer, so it felt like the best fit.”

Kemp turned down offers from Jacksonville State and Alabama State as well as turned down chances to continue his football career. 

“I was open to playing baseball or football in college, but I wanted to make the best choice for me and my parents.”

The Delta Devils have been calling Kemp for a while. He first received an offer from them when he was attending Carrollton High as a junior. Despite a coaching turnover at Mississippi Valley, Kemp kept in touch with the school and eventually secured an offer from their new staff.

“There were other schools that I thought about going to, but [Mississippi Valley] kept in touch with me during the whole process,” Kemp said. “I was in touch with some other schools throughout the fall, but Mississippi Valley made the best offer.

“It is in kind of a small town that reminds me a lot of LaGrange.”

Kemp was an electric two-sport athlete. He will bring his ace pitching to the next level, but leaves his time on the gridiron behind. Kemp had the opportunity to be a part of the Delta Devils’ football program. 

Instead of wearing out his arm as a quarterback for the football team and a pitcher for the baseball team, Kemp narrowed his focus on baseball, saying a hard goodbye to his time on the gridiron.

“It was a hard decision, but I want to be able to come home and visit my family and see my brother play football,” Kemp said. “To play quarterback and pitch at this level would have put a lot of stress on my arm. It would be hard to manage the two, which is one of the main reasons I decided to just play baseball.”

Kemp will also have to say goodbye to his twin, Malachi, who will also be going to a Division I school (the University of West Georgia) to continue his athletic career. The two started on the LaGrange football team together during their senior years.

“That was special and something that neither of us will ever forget,” Kemp said. “I’ll always be grateful to LaGrange for giving us those moments on Friday nights.”

With all the tools in place, Kemp is ready for baseball at the Division I level, but he is far from a finished product. He will be playing one final travel ball season with 5 Star Mafia this summer while also attending clinics and other camps to fine tune his craft before he hits campus in early August.

“I have a full summer of baseball,” Kemp said. “I will be playing with 5 Star Mafia, I will play some pick-up games with some teams and I will be doing some training up in East Cobb (County) and just keep getting ready for the college season.”