Dal basketball star follows mom’s steps to greatness

First Team All-Canadian Malcolm Christie is the second AUS All-Star in his family

5 min read
Dalhousie Tigers guard Malcolm Christie.
caption Dalhousie sharpshooter Malcolm Christie is one of the top stars in school history. The 6'5" guard swept Atlantic University Sport (AUS) MVP awards in the regular season and the postseason.
Dalhousie Athletics

To say Dalhousie basketball star Malcolm Christie was born to be a great athlete would be an understatement.

Christie’s mother was an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) MVP in hoops at the University of New Brunswick and Christie’s father was a former volleyball player at St. Francis Xavier University.

Christie, a 6-5 guard, has achieved immense success in basketball and he says his mom had a huge impact on him as a player and person.

2024 AUS champions the Dalhousie Tigers.
caption Malcolm Christie (centre, holding trophy) led the Dalhousie Tigers to the Atlantic University Sport basketball championship in 2024 after winning league MVP. He was later named a U SPORTS All-Canadian as Dalhousie finished fourth at the national championship.
Callum Watson

“I wanted to be like her,” Christie told The Signal shortly after returning from the U SPORTS championship in early March. “She was so dominant as a player. Everyone in my community would always tell me how great she was, and it motivated me.”

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Christie’s mother is Laura Swift Christie. Her accolades include AUS First Team All-Star in 1993, 1994 and 1999 and AUS Championship Tournament MVP in 1999.

“I want to have that resumé,’’ said Christie. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get it, she was a killer, she’s someone I will forever look up to.”

Two AUS championships and an AUS MVP later, and with two remaining seasons of eligibility, Christie isn’t too far away from building the same legacy.

Christie said he and his family were always playing sports and that basketball was the game he and his younger brother were drawn to the most.

Christie was also involved in track and field, specializing in the 100 and 200-metre sprints as well as the high jump. Christie said he stopped track and field because there was too much running.

Hometown motivation

Christie was born and raised in Fredericton N.B. which has a population of 52,000 people. He says the small provincial capital hasn’t produced many stars on the global basketball stage.

Many of the people Christie looked up to as a child to were high school players. He mentioned he used to hear about people who made it to university-level basketball and says he keeps track of his hometown hoopers.

“What motivates me are people back home that are growing up going through it, having someone they can look to for advice and help, I just want to go as far as I can.”

Sam Maillet, Christie’s backcourt mate on the Tigers, is a good friend and fellow New Brunwicker. Maillet told The Signal it’s important for both men to represent their province and to be a role model for aspiring young athletes.

Sensational season

Christie did his part for posterity during the 2023-24 season, snagging First Team All Canadian, AUS championship MVP, and AUS MVP accolades.

Dalhousie Tigers guard Malcolm Christie.
caption Dalhousie Tigers guard Malcolm Christie at the free throw line in Halifax. Photo Credit: Maya Salem
Maya Salem

He averaged 22.1 points per game, shot 36.4 per cent from three and set a new Dalhousie record for points in a game with 51 versus UNB on November 25, 2023. Christie also set a new AUS record for three-point shots in a season with 79 treys. 

Head Coach Rick Plato praised his star during a phone call with The Signal after returning from the U SPORTS championship.

“He’s a tremendous athlete, he’s got a great work ethic and he puts the time in the gym,” said Plato. “He’s got that inner drive that separates him from everybody else.”

Maillet expressed similar opinions to Plato, saying Christie’s focus and “locked in” mentality makes him great, adding that Christie is not afraid to put in the extra work.

As a team the Dalhousie Tigers won the AUS championship and make it to the semifinals of the U SPORTS championship in Quebec City where they lost to the hometown team and eventual winners Laval University.

AUS thriller

They got to Quebec City following a tense matchup with rivals St. Francis Xavier University at the AUS championship in Halifax. With two seconds left on the game clock and Dalhousie ahead by three, STFX guard Dondre Reddick rose up for a low-percentage contested shot from behind the three-point line and drilled it, right as the buzzer sounded, to force overtime.

Christie said the team didn’t panic, explaining that they were confident in their abilities. The Tigers ended up beating STFX in overtime to win the league title.

This past season’s success came on the back of a disappointing season for both Christie and the Tigers. Going into the 2022-23 season Dal had won six out of the last seven AUS championships. The expectation for the season was to win the title again.

The Tigers would make it to the AUS championship tournament but got knocked out in the semifinals by the University of Prince Edward Island. Christie said this loss was the hardest moment of his basketball career.

“When you convince yourself and every part of your body that you’re going to win then you don’t, it’s like wow,” he said. “Everything we worked for this season, just to lose in that game, it was really hard.”

Maillet agreed.

“Going through those emotions sucked, we as a team felt them all the way through, but you have to learn to lose before you learn to win.”

Christie and his teammates were able to use that low moment as fuel and a year later they reigned supreme, once again, over east-coast university basketball.

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