The nation’s top player, 2012 Shabazz Muhammad, was back for his second trip to the Boost Mobile Elite 24. Last year Muhammad was one of the few juniors selected to the team, and this year he is one of the veterans of the competition. It was never a surprise that Muhammad would have a return trip to Venice Beach as the senior has maintained his status as top dog with a constant target on his back. The Las Vegas product has filled in his frame giving himself a college ready body to go along with his unmatched effort and focus. Duke has long stayed on the prospect regardless of rumors of where he may end up. BDN got a chance to speak with the talented senior and get his thoughts on his return trip to Venice Beach. (BDN Premium is currently running a membership special where you can save up to 15% off our normal rates. Go to the join page to see discounted options and come inside for more exciting information)
BDN: Being the veteran at this event now is anything different or easier about it?
SM: Yea it’s a little different. Last year I was the young guy and I learned a lot. Now I’m a veteran trying to teach these young guys how to fit into this event.
BDN: How do you like the gear they hook have hooked you up with?
SM: Oh yea definitely. The gear is nice. We get a lot of stuff. UnderArmor hooks us up with a lot of gear and their stuff’s really comfortable so it’s a great event to come to.
BDN: Who was the toughest [private] pro you got to play against? Either here or at Impact (Las Vegas basketball facility)
SM: Probably Derrick Rose.
BDN: What can you come away with from the training session they had?
SM: You can come away with a lot of stuff. The drills they taught, some of those drills I didn’t know about, like the one with the weight vest and weight ball. You can definitely take that back home and work on that stuff.
BDN: You spend a lot of time with these guys have you had a chance to make any new relationships?
SM: Yea I made a lot of new friends especially going into this. I didn’t really know a lot of these guys and now I’m getting to know them all. It’s a great event to make friends.
BDN: What do you believe is the most improved aspect of your game since your last visit here?
SM: I really think my ball handling and my change of direction on my jump shot. I tried to work on it out here, even though it wasn’t falling. I’m going to continue to work on that stuff because at the next level that’s the stuff I really need. I’ve also been working on my right hand a lot.
BDN: What official visits do you have set up so far?
SM: The only official visit I have so far is Kentucky for their Midnight Madness, that’s one I know I’m going to, and the rest I’m going to decide with my parents and go from there.
BDN: Do you feel like you’ll make an early or late decision?
SM: Probably a late one.
BDN: In the spring?
SM: Yea wait until the spring. I really want to make sure I make the right decision and talk a little bit with everybody.
BDN: One of the teams that is recruiting you is Duke, have you been able to watch any of their games in China?
SM: Yea I have been able to watch them. I talked to Coach K when he was in the airport. Their cell phones were out in the one country they were at but I talked to him in China also. He said they were going to go sight-seeing at the Great Wall of China. It’s a great experience and I really love Coach K and the relationship we’re building is a really great one. Coach Wojo is also a great guy and I can’t wait to go back there again.
BDN: You’re entering your senior year now, what are you trying to prove?
SM: I just think I have to maintain what I’m doing now. They ranked me as the number one player so obviously I have to continue to work hard and not rest on my laurels. I just need to continue to get into the gym and work on the things I said I was working on like my right hand, and change of directions from a jump shot. I know I’m gonna keep working on it and getting better at it.
BDN: Much appreciated for your time Shabazz.
SM: No problem. [/private]