Follow Coach Malani
Director of Basketball Operations/
My name is Malani K. Massey. I am the middle child of RCA's founder, Rev. John Massey Jr., and RCA's principal, Mrs. Joan E. Massey. I discovered basketball at the age of 12 when I attended a summer camp in Schroon Lake, New York. From that moment it became my passion. After five years of hard work and dedication, I became the first student from RCA to receive a full Division I basketball scholarship. I signed with Syracuse University to play basketball and study Radio and Television Broadcasting. I ended my high school career as RCA's all-time leading scorer. My career average was 38 points per game, and I even averaged 48 points per game one season. Most times I just round that off to 50. :) I'm pretty certain that record will never be broken. I also graduated from RCA with many academic honors and was valedictorian of my graduating class.
After a stint at Syracuse University, I transferred to St. Peter's College, where I scored my college career high of 38 points versus Appalachian State in a tournament at Liberty University on December 5, 1992. That ties a record for the most points scored by a female in Liberty University's Vines Center. My 29 points in the second half still stands as its own record at the Vines Center. How ironic-- I transferred from St. Peter’s College and continued pursuing my education at Liberty University. I am still confused about that.
After college and enjoying a few jobs in broadcasting, I came back to RCA to make history as the first female head coach of a boy’s prep team. It was a struggle at first because the thought of a woman being a head coach of a boy's prep team wasn't well-received in the mid 90's. My players and I fought the negativity by racking up wins against other powerhouse prep teams across the country and having over 90% of them receive full scholarships to attend college. More important than winning, I taught my players to build good character and to give 110% in every aspect of life.
For 17 years I have been involved with the athletic program at RCA. Between coaching, training, and mentoring young men, I continue pursuing my passion for radio and television. I have been blessed to work with great broadcasting companies such as Turner Broadcasting, CBS Radio, and Clear Channel Communications. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to use my talents and skills to support the Redemption Christian Academy. Since 1979 both my parents have worked tirelessly to help cultivate future leaders both on and off the court. It is my mission to follow in their footsteps.
What's one of your favorite memories as a player?
Walking into Roberto Clemente State Park (Bronx, NY) with my high school team (for an AAU tournament), getting laughed at because we had on dresses and skirts and didn't look like basketball players, and then blowing that all-star team off the court. Guess who stopped laughing? I'm pretty sure I had about 35 points that game.
What's one of your worst memories as a player?
Losing my first game in high school. I thought the world was coming to an end. I cried like a baby. My teammates and I were inconsolable. I didn't know how I would go on with life. I had won about 60 or 70 straight games before that first loss. It was foreign to me. I'm getting teary-eyed even thinking about it now. :(
What's one of your favorite memories as a coach?
It's hard to narrow in on one so I'll name two. 1. Winning the 2014 Silver Division Championship at IMG with the most challenging team of my 17 year coaching career. (I'm trying to be politcally correct.) I really feel like I personally won that tournament. Oh! Yes! The guys played really well too. LOL 2. It's always memorable when the losing coach refuses to shake my hand. It doesn't happen as often as it did back in the 90's when I first started coaching, but it does still happen. I guess if I were a man I wouldn't want to lose to me either.
What's one of your worst memories as a coach?
I hate losing so every loss is a bad memory. Ugh!
What do you do for leisure?
I fly spaceships. Really? No! Not really, but sometimes when I have a free moment I fly them in my head. They are super fast!
What's your favorite food?
Well, I'm a fake vegan. That means I only eat animals or animal products when I feel like it. We have a garden on both RCA campuses, which is really cool. So my favorite foods are things like kale salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, and then deer, raccoon, duck, lobster, rabbit, etc. whenever it hits me. Like I said......fake vegan.
Who is your role model?
Rev. John Massey Jr. and Mrs. Joan Massey. (And please don't tell anyone this, but Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman used to be as well. Ask me to do the Wonder Woman twirl when you see me in person. It is pretty impressive.)
What's your favorite quote?
"If you stop learning you stop growing. Bored people have stopped learning. They're not trying to upgrade themselves. They're not trying to improve themselves. They're bored. With all the excitement in the world, with so much to do, how can you allow yourself to be bored? It's a psychological disorder!" -Rev. John Massey Jr.
THE REDEMPTION CHRISTIAN
The RCA Lion’s program provides student athletes an opportunity to compete on a national level in tournaments and games. Our athletes play against top competition, and they are seen by numerous college coaches. Over the years, as a result of this exposure, RCA graduates have received college scholarships to play at the next level.