When I went away to college a good ten years ago, I put on about 15 to 20 pounds not just in my freshman year, but in my first semester away from home. That might be the only thing Shabazz Muhammad and I have in common.
Apparently, Muhammad had left Bishop Gorman High School at a lean 215 pounds, but while waiting for the NCAA’s clearance to suit up for UCLA, someone probably enjoyed the perks of college parties and a superstar meal plan a little too much. When Muhammad debuted against Georgetown, he was up to a mean 230 pounds.
“I was really out of shape,” Muhammad told the LA Times on Tuesday. Apparently Muhammad had been eating poorly while adjusting to being away from home for the first time in his life. But don’t fret, the freshman sensation has started hitting the treadmill, eating better, and has already dropped 10 of those excess pounds.
“I’m really getting up and showing my explosive ability that I had all along,” said Muhammad, who still plans on dropping more weight and getting back into a chiseled tip-top shape. Muhammad’s progress has caught the attention of his teammates as well. “If you ask me, I think he’s back,” said fellow highly touted freshman Kyle Anderson.
Muhammad has scored in double-digits in all six of the games he’s played in after missing UCLA’s first three games of the season. Aside from being one the best players in games, Muhammad has picked up the slack in practice, and has gone from being one of the last guys to finish sprints, to being one of the leaders. Teammate Jordan Adams is starting to see Muhammad come into his own, and warns opposing teams: “you’ll see the motor that doesn’t stop and him just going out there and dominating his defender.”
The freshman fifteen is gone, and the number one player from the 2012 high school class is back. World, you’ve been warned.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth