MISSOULA — Phillip Malatare's basketball career isn't over yet.

After leading Arlee to back-to-back Class C titles, the 6-foot-1 senior guard is taking his talents a few hours west.

Malatare signed his National Letter of Intent with North Idaho, a community college in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on May 2, according to the Northwest Athletic Conference website.

"Any time you get a full-ride scholarship to play for a team like that, it's a huge reward and honor," Malatare's coach Zanen Pitts told 406mtsports.com. "I'm really excited for him and I'm excited for the program."

Pitts added: "I think he's going to do great, plus, academically it gives him a chance to get all the core classes done that he wants to do for his degree that he wants to go into. He wants to be a game warden."

North Idaho won the NWAC for the first time in school history last season. 

Malatare was named to USA TODAY's All-USA Montana boys’ basketball first team in 2016-17 and 2017-18, his junior and senior seasons.

He earned all-state honors those same years and was named the State C tournament MVP this past March. He won the 406mtsports.com Athlete of the Month award in January 2017 and March 2018.

In Arlee's three games at this year's state tournament, Malatare racked up 56 points, at least 27 rebounds and at least nine assists.

He earned five Missoulian Prep Athlete of the Week nominations over his career but made a case to be nominated nearly every week. 

Malatare averaged 22.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 5.8 steals per game during his senior season, according to his MaxPreps.com page. Those numbers were up from his junior year, when he averaged 20.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 5.8 steals.

He had a few scholarship offers, including one from Montana Tech, as well as a preferred walk-on offer from Montana, according to the New York Times.

Malatare's impact is present off the court too. 

He helped champion Arlee's Warrior Movement — a movement started by the Arlee boys' basketball team focusing on suicide prevention after a Two Eagle River student committed suicide in February. 

The movement gained traction after a video the team made dedicating the state tournament to suicide prevention went viral on Facebook. To date, that video has more than 1.1 million views, 36,000 shares and 14,000 reactions on Facebook, and 12,000 views on YouTube.

Malatare is the one leading off the video dribbling two basketballs. 

Malatare won't be the only Montanan on North Idaho's roster. Pitts said that fellow former Arlee star guard Tyler Tanner, who played at Dawson Community College last year, will be walking on to the North Idaho program this fall. 

Malatare and Tanner will also join Billings Skyview's RayQuan Evans, who dominated the NWAC last season. Evans was named the NWAC Tournament MVP and earned a league Player of the Week award in the second week of the year. 

Missoula Big Sky's Drew Sheridan and Broadview's Seth Christiaens were sophomores last season as well. Christiaens will play for MSUB next season. 

Calls to both Malatare and North Idaho coach Corey Symons went unreturned, as of Monday evening. 

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Amie Just covers Griz football and Missoula-area preps. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at Amie.Just@406mtsports.com.

Frank Gogola covers Griz men's basketball and Missoula-area preps. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at Frank.Gogola@406mtsports.com.

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