Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Shabazz Muhammad is McDonald's POY
By Michael Grimala
|Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 2 player in the ESPNU 100, has not yet committed to a college.|
Shabazz Muhammad has been named the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year, an award given to the nation's top basketball player by the McDonald's All-American Game committee.
The 6-foot-6 senior forward averaged more than 30 points and 10 rebounds per game this season while leading Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) to a state championship, giving Muhammad three titles in his high school career.
"It's an unbelievable feeling to be recognized as the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year," Muhammad said. "When you look at the long list of guys who've been honored with this award -- LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Shane Battier -- it's nice to know I'm at a similar phase in my basketball career and I hope to continue with that success."
Rated the No. 2 player in the ESPNU 100, Muhammad has not yet decided where he will play in college. Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, UNLV and UCLA are all trying to sign the explosive scorer.
Muhammad went for 40-plus points on four occasions this season, and he topped 30 in 10 games. He saved his best performance for last; in the Nevada 4A championship game, he scored 30 points in the first half, eventually finishing with 36 on 15-of-17 shooting in a 96-51 win over Hug (Reno).
Muhammad was one of six finalists for the Wootten award. Kyle Anderson of St. Anthony's (Jersey City, N.J.), Brandon Ashley of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), Isaiah Austin of Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas), Marcus Paige of Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) and Marcus Smart of Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) were the other finalists.
Last year's Wootten winner was Austin Rivers, a freshman at Duke.
Muhammad isn't finished with his high school career just yet. He'll be playing in the McDonald's All-American Game on March 28 in Chicago (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET).