Shabazz Muhammad was the breakout high school star of the summer. The 6-6 wing from Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) was already rising through the rankings before he averaged 32 points per game on the AAU circuit and really blew up.
Now every school from North Carolina to Kentucky to Duke is in pursuit of Muhammad, a junior who is ranked 8th overall in the High School Hoop national Top 50, and 3rd in his class by Scout. Muhammad has agreed to give HSH and Dime exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts in a regular diary where he’ll keep everyone updated on everything from his personal life to his high school season to his recruiting process. Here’s an excerpt from his debut entry:
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I finished off my summer at the Elite 24 at Venice Beach and that was a great experience because there was just so much competition there. As a younger guy, I think it was really beneficial because it gave me a chance to play against the older guys one more time. That always helps.
The downtime at the Elite 24 was real cool, too. We basically just hung out in our rooms and we got to play against John Wall and Eric Bledsoe in Madden. I’ve got to give it to John, he wasn’t losing in Madden. He was definitely doing his thing in that.
Another cool part of the Elite 24 experience was that we got to do a late-night run with a lot of NBA guys. They definitely showed us why they’re in the NBA! They’re so quick on both ends of the floor. John had a lot of highlights and Brandon Jennings was doing some crazy things out there too.
The best part was that it let me gauge where my game was at, and I definitely see how I will be at that level soon. The biggest difference is their speed. They’re a little faster than me right now, but I’m a hard worker. Those guys work on their games 24/7, and we still have school and stuff, but I know that I’ll continue to get better and faster. …
… I’m excited about heading over to North Carolina for Late Night on Oct. 15. This will be my first midnight madness event so I’m really excited about it! I watched Kentucky’s on TV last year and it looked real crazy, so I can’t wait to get down to North Carolina to see how it is. I’ve heard that they dance and stuff like that. Even Coach Roy (Williams) gets out there and dances, so that should be interesting. I think I’m going to tour the campus and watch them practice the day after so that will be cool.
Since the contact period has started I’ve had a lot of coaches come to my school to watch me workout. Duke has been here, Memphis, North Carolina, Arizona, Arizona State, Kentucky, UNLV, UCLA … I’m expecting a lot more schools too, like Texas, USC and Kansas.
I know some people look for the coaches to be there on the first day, but not me. It doesn’t really matter when you show up, as long as you are showing interest. Last year it was a little weird to have those big-time coaches in here to see me, but this year it’s more fun.
I do know that I need to cut my list down because there are so many schools recruiting me, I don’t even remember them all sometimes.