Shabazz Muhammad: UCLA Star’s Age Won’t Affect NBA Draft Stock

By Chris Katje


Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports

UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad was one of the best freshman in NCAA Basketball for the 2012-2013 season. There’s just one problem, he shouldn’t have been a freshman. Reports surface today that Shabazz’s father lied about his son’s age to help his NBA Draft stock. So how will the new report affect Muhammad’s draft stock?

Since the time he was young, college coaches wanted to have Muhammad on their team. Muhammad dominated in high school basketball and was named Mr. Basketball USA. As one of the top two recruits in the nation, Muhammad settled on UCLA.

The season for Muhammad has been marked with controversy. Muhammad sat out the first three games due to amateur violations. During a Pac-12 game, Muhammad became the subject of an investigation over a $1000 Gucci backpack.

The new report suggest that Muhammad’s father lied about his age on purpose to give him an unfair advantage in recruitment. Many are questioning how NBA draft scouts would view Muhammad if he was in the sophomore or junior class this year.

The fact is simple, Muhammad is a great basketball player. I believe Muhammad will still be an NBA lottery pick. During his “freshman” season, Muhammad has averaged 17.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. Muhammad shoots .447 from the field and .400 from long distance. Muhammad also plays over 30 (30.6) minutes per game. During the season, Muhammad failed to score in double digits only one time.

Muhammad comes from strong basketball genes. Ron Holmes, father of Shabazz, will face the most heat about the age fiasco. Holmes appears to have been the driving force behind the cover up. It also won’t make Holmes look good as more reports surface that he married Shabazz’s mother Faye because of her strong basketball genes.

Ron spent four years at UCLA rival USC, where he scored over 1200 points and ranks in the top 20 scorers in school history. Faye played at Long Beach State after a successful high school career in basketball and track. Rumor has it that Ron told teammates that he was going to marry Faye and make All-American babies.

The UCLA Bruins won the PAC-12 Conference during the regular season. Muhammad matched up and was on display in one of the better conferences in the league. Tonight against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the talk will be about Muhammad’s age. However, if I’m an NBA owner, general manager, or coach, I would be tuning in to watch Muhammad’s performance. Age is just a number after all.

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