The Wolverine

June-July 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2014 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY CHRIS BALAS College coaches looking for a blue- print in finding late steals on the re- cruiting trail, might set up camp in Ann Arbor, Mich. Head coach John Beilein and his staff have made a habit of turning late bloomers into integral parts of championship teams. This year the coaches started look- ing for guards when it became clear Nik Stauskas might opt for the NBA after his second year. Beilein received a call from a longtime friend, Dave Rooney, who happened to be a 1959 Allentown (Pa.) High graduate. He also coached college basketball for 20 years at schools including Slippery Rock and Buffalo State. When Rooney told Beilein he needed to take a look at Allentown Central Catholic shooting guard Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, he did. After all, Rooney had barely said a good word about any player ever, Beilein told Dawud Abdur-Rahkman, Muham- mad's father. "He must have watched 10 games or more, so he watched him," Dawud Abdur-Rahkman said of Beilein. "The reason I knew was at the end of our visit during their presentation, they showed the film of my son doing what he does, how he fits into Michigan's style of play. They showed [former U-M All-American guard] Trey Burke doing the same kind of stuff, and he'd point out Muhammad's little nuances, shoulder faking, using ball screens, splitting screens and all of that." Beilein told the Abdur-Rahkmans he needed a guard who was mature, Late Signee Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman Has Something To Prove Abdur-Rahkman averaged 23.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game as a senior in leading Allentown (Pa.) Central Catholic to a 29-1 record and the state Class AAA semifinals. PHOTO COURTESY ABDUR-RAHKMAN FAMILY

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