Marlain Veal’s efforts gain recognition

Lions Junior guard Marlain Veal has been recognized as an elite player for his play last season and he hopes to play even better for the upcoming season. File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

Junior guard Marlain Veal has been gathering attention for his performances as a Lion ahead of the 2017-18 season. His selection into the Mid-Major Dream Team confirmed his status as a standout performer for Lions basketball. 

Veal was pleased regarding his selection into the dream team and hoped for similar rewards in the future.

“It is a great recognition for me,” said Veal. “I’m trying to get on the AP All-American team, that’s my dream, being on top of those type of list.”

The dream team was set up by College Court Report, a Canadian-based NCAA college basketball website. Veal was one of 14 members selected into the team, and he feels inspired by his nomination.

“It motivates me and shows that my hard work is paying off, and I’ve to keep working harder and harder to get on to even more list like this,” said Veal.

Head Coach Jay Ladner was not surprised by the recognition Veal got and described Veal’s journey at the university. He also stated Veal’s All-State honors made him an incredible acquisition to the team.

“First of all, I wanna say that Marlain Veal is a rare talent,” said Ladner. “One of the things that I kept selling him during the recruiting process was, ‘Marlain, you got a chance to come in here and really be one of the best players that’s ever played at Southeastern.’ Now he’s had two outstanding seasons that probably happened a little faster than I thought but now he’s beginning to get a lot of national media coverage. It’s great to see that.”

Ladner believes Veal is getting the rewards for the work he puts in for the game.

“It’s confirmation of his hard work and dedications because he works extremely hard at developing his craft,” said Ladner.

Ladner also described the qualities that makes Veal special. 

Ladner said, “As far as his general strength, he’s an extremely dedicated and a really hard worker. He puts in a tremendous amount of time. I don’t think that’s any different than successful characteristics that anybody in any field has. He’s certainly one of the more dedicated players in terms of working on his basketball skills. As far as on the basketball court, he’s extremely quick and extremely athletic for a player of his size. You know, he’s not one of the extremely tall players, but he has such great ball handling skills. His ability to shoot the ball has really improved. You combine all that, and you got a special player.”

However, there are certain aspects of the game that Veal needed to improve.

“Certainly, the area that we’ve worked a lot with him and addressed a lot since last season is that with the basketball in his hands, he feels like he has to make spectacular plays a little bit too much, and because he does that, he has a tendency at times to turn the basketball over too much,” said Ladner. “It’s kind of an odd dynamic that he’s daring as a player, which makes him very exciting, but sometimes, he makes too many mistakes.”

Veal went on to share his aspirations regarding his career.

“I just plan to become a professional basketball player and provide for my family,” said Veal. “Just live my dream of being a professional basketball player, travel the world and do things that a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to do.”

The Lions begin their 2017-18 season against Southern-New Orleans on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in the University Center. Ladner has urged the fans to come and support the team and also witness a great talent in Veal.

“I would encourage every Southeastern student and every Southeastern fan, if they haven’t had an opportunity to see him over the next two years, they need to make plans,” said Ladner. “Otherwise, they’re gonna miss on some incredible entertainment.”