The Wolverine

May 2014 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  COMMITMENT PROFILE Michigan coaches were scouring the country in mid-April for late 2014 additions to help replace departing sophomore Nik Staus- kas, who declared for the NBA Draft April 15, and it didn't take long to land one. Allentown (Pa.) Cen- tral Catholic shooting guard Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman (6-4, 180, three- star senior prospect), the first four-time all- state selection in Le- high Valley basketball history, announced his Michigan commitment following his April 19 visit. Some believe Abdur-Rahkman could be the latest in a long line of underrated recruits to blossom under head coach John Beilein and his staff. Beilein first heard of him in March when his longtime friend, 1959 Allen- town High graduate and former col- lege basketball coach Dave Rooney, told him he needed to take a look at Abdur-Rahkman. So Beilein did just that, Dawud Ab- dur-Rahkman, Muhammad's father, recalled. "He must have watched 10 games or more, so he watched him," the elder Abdur-Rahkman said. "The reason I knew was at the end of the visit dur- ing their presentation, they showed the film of him doing what he does, how he fits into Michigan's style of play. They showed [former U-M All-Ameri- can guard] Trey Burke doing the same kind of stuff, and he'd point out Muham- mad's little nuances, shoulder faking, using ball screens, splitting screens and all of that. "Coach Beilein then told us that Coach Rooney doesn't usu- ally say good things about anybody, even his own players on his teams sometimes who were really good. Af- ter he talked with him, Coach Beilein called us up and explained what happened, said he needed a guard that's mature, can score and play; a good character guy who can shoot it. And he said, 'I hear he lives in your house.'" Abdur-Rahkman led Central Catho- lic to four straight District 11 Class 3A titles and was the leader this year of the first boys' team in Lehigh Valley history to start a season 29-0. He av- eraged 23.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, and finished his career with 2,136 points, the most in Central Catholic history and the sixth- most ever in District 11. His father, a longtime and respected high school, collegiate and AAU coach himself, was among those who thought his son might be under-re- cruited. Michigan Adds Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman To Its 2014 Class Abdur-Rahkman, a shooting guard from Allentown (Pa.) Central Catholic, was a four-time all-state selection. PHOTO COURTESY ABDUR-RAHKMAN FAMILY

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