48 years ago on this day, Malik Sealy was born. His grandfather Fitzgerald was a stevedore from Barbados who immigrated to the United States. In the sixties, Malik’s father, Sidney, was a bodyguard for Malcolm X and his relative Lloyd Sealy was the highest-ranking African-American officer in the NYPD. Malik’s parents, Sidney and Ann lived in Tremont and despite setbacks like losing their apparel shop in a fire, saw all of their five children attend and graduate from college. Malik attended Tolentine High School and led their basketball team to a state championship while being an honor student and student council President. He then attended St. John’s University, where he finished as the second-leading scorer in university history.
In 1992, Malik was drafted by the Indiana Pacers and was a professional basketball player for eight years, averaging a respectable ten points a game. In his free time, Sealy enjoyed acting and designed clothing, a skill he had learned from his mother and grandmother. He also enjoyed rapping and released one song “Lost in the Sauce” in 1994 which was notedly humble and included these lines: “I can’t afford to lose my focus/I got a bright future ahead of me and many people know this/especially the whole crew from 2000 Valentine Avenue.” Tragically, Malik Sealy died when his car was hit by a drunk driver in 2000. A mural at the corner of Burnside and Valentine Avenue (by the C-Town supermarket) commemorates his life.
Reposted by Lisa Sealy, wife of Malik on her personal Instagram account.