Cal Lutheran Alumnus Josh Malone Continues Family’s Basketball Legacy

Ariana Salinas, Reporter

Former California Lutheran University Kingsmen basketball player, and son of 2x NBA All-Star Jeff Malone, alumnus Joshua Malone is continuing his family’s basketball legacy as Basketball Operations and Video Assistant with the Utah Jazz. 

“You get to know where these guys come from, a little bit of everything in their lives, and what they like to do,” Malone said. “Just spending time and building relationships and watching these guys be able to try to work for and achieve their goals.”

Working directly with the Jazz coaching staff, Malone helps break down film, evaluating players’ performance in practices and games as well as clips from future opponents.  

Malone graduated from Cal Lutheran in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, Film and Television and a minor in Business Sports Management. He said that he “always wanted to work in basketball,” so his current position is a blessing.

“I played a little on the JV team at Cal Lutheran and then my junior year and senior year I was a student assistant with those guys up until I graduated and then from there I figured I wanted to coach,” Malone said.

Malone’s father, Jeff Malone, played in the NBA for 14 years, so he “got to grow up around the game,” which inspired him to pursue a career in coaching.

However, Malone said getting this position as a video coordinator assistant with the Utah Jazz wasn’t easy and took hours of dedication and hard work.

Malone went to Spain after college and began working as a recruiting coordinator and assistant coach with the Canarias Basketball Academy. He coached youth players and helped them develop their skills in aim to one day earn a chance to play at a higher level, Malone said.

After helping coach in Spain, Malone went on to work as a graduate assistant and video coordinator for the men’s basketball team at the University of Memphis while obtaining a Master’s degree in Sports Management.

“I was at Memphis as a graduate assistant for two years, so it was fantastic and it was my foot into the door, into some of the highest levels of basketball in the world,” Malone said.

Malone moved on to work with the Washington Wizards’ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, as a video coordinator. 

“Working in that organization allowed me to work with the Washington Mystics, the WNBA team, for the summer as well,” Malone said.

Malone helped with the breakdown of the games live, as well as their practices, post-games and half-time film.

Finally, after a general manager change in Washington D.C., Malone made his way to the Salt Lake City Stars and the Utah Jazz, both of whom he is still currently with.

Despite the current state of sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Malone said he is still helping with breaking down past film.

“There’s really not much to do because a lot of players would be working out so that these [General Managers] could evaluate the players. They’re still evaluating them but there’s just a lot of prior film you have to go off of and just what they’ve played like so far this season,” Malone said.

For those looking to pursue a career similar to his, Malone said the best advice he could give would be to continuously network and be persistent and flexible. 

Malone added that taking a class in public speaking at Cal Lutheran helped prepare him for his career, because it fixed any problems in stuttering and made his speech more professional.

“It’s tough when you’re young because as you’ve seen, since Cal Lutheran, I’ve lived in four different cities and that was only five or six years ago,” Malone said. “If you want to get into coaching or working in sports, it’s a lot of networking. I’ve never gotten a job because of an application, it’s always been word of mouth.”

The biggest takeaway for Malone in his career is that he’s able to create and build relationships with the different players and coaches and watch them grow throughout their careers as well.