5 questions with Lakeland Magic guard Greg Malinowski

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 03: Greg Malinowski #11 of the Georgetown Hoyas dribbles the ball against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on February 3, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Villanova defeated Georgetown 77-65. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 03: Greg Malinowski #11 of the Georgetown Hoyas dribbles the ball against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on February 3, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Villanova defeated Georgetown 77-65. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
Greg Malinowski
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 27: Greg Malinowski #11 of the Georgetown Hoyas looks on against the St. John’s Red Storm at Madison Square Garden on January 27, 2019 in New York City, 5 questions with Lakeland Magic guard Greg Malinowski. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

This week, I had the opportunity to talk to Lakeland Magic guard Greg Malinowski and ask him a few questions.

5 questions with Lakeland Magic guard Greg Malinowski

Greg Malinowski grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and attended Episcopal High School. Malinowski knew he wanted to go into sports at a young age. During Episcopal High School’s senior internship program, he was lucky enough to have the opportunity to serve as a video productions intern at ESPN.

Back on the basketball court, most of Malinowski’s offers came from mid-major programs. He elected to stay in his home state of Virginia and committed to the College of William & Mary in 2013 while having offers from Princeton, UMBC, Boston College, and a few others.

In his first year at the College of William & Mary, Malinowski contributed only as a role player, putting up just under five assists. In his final two seasons at the College of William & Mary, Malinowski was given a larger role and ended up starting most of his junior season. He averaged eight points, four rebounds, and one assist per game.

Then, in 2017, Malinowski transferred to Georgetown for his senior season. He served as a veteran off the bench and averaged six points, three rebounds, and two assists per game. Additionally, Malinowski graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Georgetown’s business school.

Throughout Malinowski’s collegiate career he was an exceptional three-pointer shooter. He averaged 39 percent from the three-point line in his four years playing collegiate ball.

After going undrafted, Malinowski continued pursuing a professional career in basketball by playing in Germany with the Ehingen Urspring in 2020. With the Urspring, Malinowski averaged 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists per game.

Following Malinowski’s stint in Germany, he returned to the NBA circuit. Malinowski was signed and then cut with both the Greensboro Swarm (the Charlotte Hornets G League affiliate) and the Capital City Go-Go (the Washington Wizards G League affiliate) before being signed by the Lakeland Magic (the Orlando Magic G League affiliate).

In his short time with the Magic (only 5 games), Malinowski averaged seven points, two assists, and one rebound in 14 minutes per game. He continued his efficient shooting and shot 40 percent from behind the arc.

In addition to his professional basketball career, Malinowski is a successful entrepreneur. While he was not on the court, Malinowski worked to create a successful dropshipping brand that has now developed into a six-figure business. He is also a skilled videographer and photographer which he regularly showcases on his social media.

Here’s the interview:

Q: You are very passionate about photography and videography. Tell me about the ESPN internship you got in 2014. How did you obtain that role? What was it like?

A: At my high school, Episcopal, we had a senior internship program the last month of May. I knew I wanted to be in the sports world so I looked into all possibilities there. Luckily enough, a close family friend from my church was the executive producer for PTI and Around The Horn. These shows were based right here in Dupont Circle, Washington DC so it worked out perfectly. At the time, photos and video weren’t really on my radar, so it was the love of sports that attracted me to this opportunity. Normally, ESPN only accepts college interns, especially because high school programs (like mine) were typically only one month long. Because of this, my day-to-day was a bit more unique than most. I spent days shadowing people in different departments of the office. It was a super cool experience to see how big-time ESPN shows were operating.

Q: What is it like trying to run a business while playing at the professional level?

A: In collegiate basketball, the hours not dedicated to the court were dedicated to the classroom. In professional basketball, my off-time was dedicated to learning how to build a business and growing my photo and video skillset. While playing in Germany, my total time devoted to practices would maybe max out at 4-6 hours. Estimating 8 hours of sleep, that still left me with 10 hours of “free time.” The first several years of learning, failing, and trying new things outside of basketball were challenging, but ultimately helped me grow exponentially.

Q: You never averaged over 10 points in college, and have developed a very successful business on top of your photography and videography skills. With all of this in mind, were your eyes always on professional basketball?

A: Yes, my eyes were always on playing professionally. Similar to almost all basketball players, my dream as a kid was to play in the NBA. Participating in NBA pre-draft workouts and summer league camp was a great experience. Still, playing overseas was also something I was very intrigued with. The side business came as a result of the extra time I was afforded from playing professionally.

Q: Three G League teams this year and just five games played. What is the struggle of trying to be picked up by a G League team? What has this process looked like for you over the course of your career? Additionally, what was your decision to go to Germany to play ball, and then come back after just one year?

A: Playing in Germany was a great opportunity. However, it was a rough year and didn’t pan out as I had originally hoped. After returning home, I stayed in shape by helping Georgetown with practice. They were down to only about six or seven scholarship guys. A month later, the world shut down due to COVID. I didn’t receive any opportunity that entire next year up until the fall of 2021 when I received an invite to a Greensboro Swarm workout. The year was definitely very challenging. I was cut (training camp GBO), then I was a practice player (Capital City GoGo), then a signed player (CCG), then cut (CCG), then signed (CCG), then cut (CCG), then signed by my third team, the Lakeland Magic. The last stint with the Magic was an awesome experience. I was finally given an opportunity to get in and play – this was my first time checking into a game since January 2020, 790 days prior. Continuing to stay in shape and remain ready was incredibly difficult due to the sheer uncertainty of things, but it was definitely worth it in the end.

Q: Shooting is the strongest part of your game. Tell me a little bit about the shooter’s mentality and the journey to becoming such an elite shooter.

A: It’s something I’ve always worked on since being a young kid. My dad helped guide and teach me when I was growing up. When I got back from Germany improving my percentages was something I really wanted to put an emphasis on in the off-season. With the next year being a semi-off year due to COVID, it was something I was really able to focus on a lot. Specifically, honing in on mechanics, fundamentals and form really helped me to come right in with Lakeland and make shots.

Thank you so much to Greg Malinowski for these fantastic responses. I encourage all fans to support their local G League team and try to attend games because the talent there is truly remarkable.

Next. 5 questions with Texas Legends coach George Galanopoulos. dark