With his two current competitors, Andre Drummond and Isaiah Austin, for the top ranking in the 2012 class under the same Compton roof, Shabazz Muhammad set out to show that he was the best prospect in his class. Although 6’11″ Drummond manifested a fire that is not always there, Muhammad walked away with the MVP Award at the Pangos All-American Camp. The nearly 6’6″ chiseled, lefty wing violently attacked the rim repeatedly. Teamed with his brother, Rashad, and best friend, Winston Shepard, Muhammad gave his peers and the elders in attendance a fresh reminder of his consistently high effort and competitiveness.
After winning the Nevada state title during Muhammad’s freshman and sophomore seasons, Grant Rice, the head coach of the Bishop Gorman Gaels in Las Vegas, tried to play a very competitive national schedule. The results were humbling and, ultimately, the Las Vegas powerhouse lost in an upset to Bishop Manogue of Reno, 45-44, in the state semi-finals. For his efforts, however, the junior Muhammad was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Nevada, averaging over twenty-five points and nearly eight rebounds per game. With virtually all of the important cogs, including several high-major prospects, returning for next season, Muhammad and the Gaels will attempt to bring a national title to his Las Vegas Catholic school.
On the AAU circuit, Shabazz Muhammad has helped his DreamVision brethren capture titles at the Easter Classic, the Jayhawk Invitational, and the EBO Classic. For the next month, however, the Muhammad brothers, their dad, Ron Holmes, who played for USC, and Shepard, who now lives with family, will head into the Gorman gym for three hours of intense daily workouts. They’re trying to fine tune their skills and conditioning before the July period, when coaches will be able to evaluate their every game.
Recently, Shabazz Muhammad spoke individually with us about a myriad of topics, including a lingering rumor that he is a UCLA lock, his conversations with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, what fuels his competitiveness, and the effects of last season’s grueling schedule.
How have you played so far this AAU season?
We’re coming out strong. I mean we’re winning a lot of games. Our team is really jelling.
You guys have won the Easter, the Jayhawk, and EBO events.
Yeah, I mean each of those have been really good experiences. We’re facing quality competition at every event, but we’re competing out there and doing a good
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