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Luke Malishchak will play for team that travels with Harlem Globetrotters
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) – As a youth, he never could have dreamed about being paid to play basketball. He believed that academics would take him where he needed to go. But when Moravian College senior Luke Malishchak was offered a position on the New York Nationals basketball team, he couldn’t refuse.
“Who knows when I will have an opportunity like this again,” says Malishchak. The Nationals travel with and play against the Harlem Globetrotters. Although the Globetrotters are known for their fun antics on the court, the Nationals always play to win.
Malishchak, a clinical psychology and sociology major from Nanticoke, Pa, has played basketball since he was six years old. He has played on Moravian’s basketball team for the past four years. It was through a summer basketball league three years ago that Malishchak first got introduced to the Nationals.
“One of the referees knew the general manager of the Nationals, John Ferrari,” says Malishchak. “Because the ref was impressed with my personality and skill, he mentioned my name to Ferrari. Ferrari talked with me, watched me play, and offered me a position on the team.”
However, according to NCAA standards, Malishchak would be ineligible to play for Moravian if he was being paid by the Nationals. So, he declined the offer. “I was flabbergasted to have been offered a position on the team,” remembers Malishchak. “Although it would have been a great opportunity, it wasn’t the right time.”
Malishchak kept in contact with Ferrari over the next three years and was again offered a position on the team. Although he was planning to pursue graduate school, Malishchak was convinced by his mother to seize this opportunity. “She made me realize that I can go to graduate school anytime I want. This opportunity may never come around again,” says Malishchak.
Malishchak will participate in his first tour from June to August in South America. His contract lasts two years. “Playing with the Nationals just matches my personality, fun and outgoing,” Malishchak says.
Malishchak is an honors student and a member of the Psychology and Sociology honor societies as well as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He will graduate from Moravian this spring.