Georgia Hoopster Gets His First College Letter

May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

ScreenShot146Atlanta area boys’ high school basketball player Tahj Shamsid Deen won’t be graduating until 2013. But he can already rest assured that he is wanted. This week received his first college scholarship offer, and it was from the prestigious academic institution Northwestern University in Chicago. Not bad for a 15-year-old kid who stands at only 5 foot 8 inches and 160 pounds. And Northwestern is not alone, as basketball powerhouse programs Connecticut, Florida, and Memphis are reportedly also interested in the young man.

“He’s a 50-year-old midget,” says his high school coach, Columbia High’s Phil McCrary, “It speaks to his maturity level. He thinks way beyond his age,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s a compliment, not at all meant in a derogatory way. It’s just that most kids his age make simple and minor mistakes on the floor. It’s rare for Tahj because he’s more mature than most of the point guards he plays against.”

He added, “How many 15-year-olds do you know that are constantly looking up at the clock, knowing the situation they are in? How many always know where to go with the basketball? Know when to shoot? When to slow it down? And when to take over a game? All that stuff, Tahj has already learned. That’s why I call him a ‘50-year-old midget’ because his knowledge is way beyond his age.”

ESPN.com rates Tahj as the 37th best point guard in the nation in the class of 2013 and offers the following scouting report: Tahj pushes the ball with good pace in transition and displays the ability to hit the stop and pop mid range pull up around the foul line. Shamsid-Deen is a lefty with a smooth stroke. He can hit the open three and runner in the lane as well. Shamsid-Deen has a tight handle and does a good job of drive, drawing and kicking to open teammates when he draws a second defender. He can pressure the ball with his excellent lateral foot speed and quick hands as well. Tahj must add strength and continue to develop his game but Shamsid-Deen is definitely on to keep a close eye on this spring and summer.This young lead guard had some very impressive possessions. He competes and plays with confidence. He also does a nice job of running the offense and keeping the team organized.

And to top it off, Tahj is a stellar student as well. He already posted a qualifying SAT score for college while only in the seventh grade. He has nearly a 4.0 GPA in high school and is a finalist for the Governor’s Cup in math. Inshallah there are big things in store for this little fellow.

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All Eyes on Shabbazz Muhammad

May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

SHABAZZ-MUHAMMADSmall forward Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas, Nevada is virtually a unanimous national top-5 recruit in the boys’ basketball class of 2012. That makes for a nice subjective analysis of his talent. But how about an objective measure of his abilities: he has no less than 16 big-time college scholarship offers, including offers from such elite programs as Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, UNLV, and USC.

It was originally thought that the home town UNLV team would have long odds in securing Muhammad’s services amongst the big boys that are after him. But those odds improved after Dave Rice was hired as UNLV’s new men’s basketball coach last month. Rice just happens to be the brother of Shabbazz’s high school coach, Grant Rice. Shabbazz’s father, Ron Holmes, heard the new coach speak and was impressed, and he told the Las Vegas Sun this his son will indeed take a recruiting trip to UNLV. “Without a doubt, UNLV will be right there,” Holmes said of UNLV’s chances to sign his son.

Muhammad averaged 25 points per game this past winter and was named the Sunset Region’s Player of the Year. The 6 foot 6 inch wing player just may be the biggest recruit in Southern Nevada history, and that is saying something.

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