Canisius offers Brighton's Malik James

Canisius College extended a scholarship to 2014 point guard prospect Malik James on Tuesday afternoon, while he was at ESPNBoston.com's Foxborough office this afternoon to receive the organization's "Mr. Basketball" award.

James took the MIAA by storm the past two years, leading Brighton to the state finals as a sophomore and bringing home the school’s first ever state championship as a junior. He separated himself as the MIAA’s best player during the state tournament, where he averaged 20 points per game.

In receiving his first Division 1 offer, James feels relief.

“Finally my mother won’t have to pay for college out of her own pocket," he said. "I’m just happy knowing that it’s my first offer, and also that there are many more to come. All that hard work in the gym has paid off. It’s really a blessing too, I’m very proud."

He will be playing against some of the best AAU competition in the country this summer with BABC, as part of the Nike EYBL circuit. Playing with BABC for Coach Leo Papile has already been a rewarding experience for James.

“Leo’s a very good coach, he really knows his X’s and O’s," James said. "If you listen to him and stay in his system, you’ll be good. So far the competition is obviously way better than the Boston City League or anything like that. I’m going up against other top point guards in my class."

With significant interest from several other Division 1 programs, James is currently in the process of deciding where he will play prep school basketball this coming fall.