Class of 2012 guard Musa Abdul-Aleem flew completely under-the-radar through high school and is now jumping into the national spotlight headed into his sophomore season at Georgia Perimeter College. After a big summer at Jerry Mullen’s JUCO Top 100 camp and the All-American JUCO Showcase, Abdul-Aleem is taking his first official visit and, according to Georgia Perimeter assistant coach David Dennis, brings a lot more than his game to the proverbial table.
As we reported earlier, the 6-foot-4 lefty wing will take an official visit to the University of Memphis beginning Thursday afternoon. According to sources, Abdul-Aleem will kick off his visit by taking in the Memphis vs. Mississippi State football game at the Liberty Bowl on Thursday night, finishing up his visit on Saturday.
Named the Freshman Player of the Year in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and selected to the all-region first team, Abdul-Aleem is drawing interest from Memphis, South Florida, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, West Virginia, and others. According to David Dennis, the attention is a tribute Abdul-Aleem’s drive on and off the floor.
“He’s a better person than he is a basketball player,” Dennis said glowingly. “He is very respectful and polite. He’s probably one of the best young men I’ve ever had the privilege of being around and coaching. He enjoys life but takes care of business. Anything you put in front of Musa or ask him to get done, it gets done.”
Continuing, Dennis said, “The type of person he is goes a long way. You don’t have to worry about him going to class or getting into trouble. His impact as a person will help no matter where he decides to go to school.”
A devout muslim, Abdul-Aleem skirted the spotlight in high school because of a nomadic journey from Mississippi to Georgia to Florida in search of a situation that allowed him to play basketball with his twin brother Muhammad while having the freedom to practice their family’s religion. After taking a year off to travel abroad, Abdul-Aleem returned to Georgia and led the Jaguars in scoring at 14.6 points per game in his freshman season.
“People needed to realize that he hadn’t played for like a year after traveling abroad for his religious beliefs,” explained Dennis. “It took him some time to shake off the rust, but he came back around. Once that happened, he really started playing well. A lot of [our success at the end of the year] was a result of [Musa's] play.”
Junior college scout Brad Winton – who publishes the JUCO Recruiting Report – says that Abdul-Aleem is one of the best wings in the country at the junior college level.
“Abdul-Aleem’s strength is a major thing that separates him from a lot of other guys and gives him the opportunity to make an impact at a high-major level,” Winton said. “He can help a good, high-major team win games right away. He’s a winner.”
David Dennis compares Abdul-Aleem to former NBA Rookie of the Year and 6-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond.
“When you look at his physical stature, I would compare him to a left-handed Mitch Richmond; going back in the day and looking at somebody who is big, strong, and can get to the basket. The one that he can do that a lot of guys can’t do is shoot the ball. I’ve told all the coaches recruiting him that they don’t have a better shooter on their team right now than him. I would put my job on that any day of the week. He shoots the ball exceptionally well.”
The visit to Memphis this week is the first of five possible official visits for Abdul-Aleem. For more details on Musa Abdul-Aleem, check out this thread in The Den (premium forum).
MORE ON ABDUL-ALEEM FROM BRAD WINTON OF THE JUCO RECRUITING REPORT:
“Musa Abdul-Aleem is a lefty who is strong as hell and can shoot it from 24 feet. He likes to pull it. He’s got a very quick trigger, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because of how well he shoots the ball. He can mix it up and go to the hole or pull-up from the mid-range. He’s a pretty good athlete and can take a hit and finish. Defensively, he’s one of the better ones I’ve seen. Off the ball, he understands the game and can really get into guys and defend. He really seems to enjoy defending and has a passion for the game. He’s one of the tougher JUCO guys I’ve seen.”