Aminu Mohammed's windmill dunk comes with two of his 17 points as Greenwood (@AthleticsGls) tops Reeds Spring (@RSWolvesBBall) to open @greenwood_BnG gold division action. READ: https://t.co/wlqpXeSp96 pic.twitter.com/Wr65GoBkCt— Matt Vereen (@MattVereen) December 29, 2020
The fantastic news still doesn’t feel real for many Hoyas fans who may have grown accustomed to disappointment these last few years, but it is a huge victory for Ewing’s staff and the Georgetown faithful.
Casual Hoya has written quite a bit about Aminu in several posts over the past few months, but coverage was a bit tempered. Perhaps this blog contributor has held back a bit out of an abundance of caution for his own hopes.
So, now that Aminu Mohammed has committed to Georgetown, without judgment as requested, here are the links you need to read to learn all about Georgetown’s future phenom:
Mohammed is a five-star [guard] as ranked by both ESPN and 247Sports.com. The latest ESPN.com Class of 2021 rankings has Mohammed ranked No. 16 in the country. 247Sports.com’s composite rankings rank Mohammed No. 9 in the nation. Mohammed began attending Greenwood Laboratory School before the 2018-19 season. Before that, he played in Washington D.C. Mohammed’s brother — Kabir Mohammed — is a member of the Missouri State basketball team.
A 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Washington, D.C., who transferred to Greenwood Laboratory School (Missouri) earlier in his high school career, Mohammed is ranked No. 18 in the ESPN 100 for the 2021 class. He’s the No. 3-ranked shooting guard in the class.
During the 2019 spring and summer, Mohammed averaged 16.5 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Boo Williams grassroots program. Mohammed is in the 2021 class for now, but the option to graduate high school early and enroll in college for the second semester has been on the table.
Mohammed’s guardian, Shawn Harmon, recently told ESPN that Mohammed has a little more work to complete to graduate high school, but he’s fine academically and would be able to enroll at school if he chooses. As of now, Mohammed hasn’t made a final decision on whether he will wait until next year to enroll.
The Mohammed Family in Nigeria featured five boys, so the Harmon residence is naturally quieter with both older Harmon boys being out of the house. The family moved here from the D.C. area in August, a move that the Harmons had been contemplating for some time, with a slower pace and the opportunity to watch Kabir’s games in Springfield. His game will certainly standout in Springfield, but his personality will be a perfect fit.
“He has an old soul; I think we mesh well together because I’m an older guy,” said Harmon. “He’s real simple, he’s real basic. He doesn’t ask for a lot and doesn’t do a lot. He’s the youngest boy and his brothers protected him and didn’t really let him run around do the stuff other kids do. He stayed home with his mother a lot and I think that developed an older soul. He likes his movies, he likes video games and other than that it’s basketball. It’s not real complicated for him.” On the court, it’s not very complicated either. Mohammed’s grind – under Harmon’s tutelage – has paid off.
At 14 years old, Mohammed’s family decided to send him to America from Nigeria to get a degree. They saw the success Mohammed’s older brother — Missouri State basketball player Kabir Mohammed — was having while living with Harmon and wanted Aminu to do the same. Basketball wasn’t on Aminu Mohammed’s parent’s minds. After all, they’ve never seen him play a game.
“They didn’t want me to play basketball at first,” Aminu Mohammed said. “They didn’t want it to affect my education, but when my brother came over here, it really pushed them.” Aminu Mohammed still developed his love for the game while in Nigeria.
For the first 14 years of his life, Mohammed’s home was in Lagos, the country’s largest city, nestled next to the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast of Africa. Although some parts of the city were plagued by crime, Mohammed lived in a stable environment. He went to school. He went home. He went to the court.
He was raised in a strict household, preaching discipline and control. Everything was monitored. Respecting his elders was imperative. Obedience was expected. Respect others so they respect you, he was taught. Eventually, Kabir’s game couldn’t be contained by the neighborhood court anymore. The family decided to send him to the United States. The decision wasn’t too difficult for their parents. There was a chance for new opportunities. Kabir started attending Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Tennessee.
“It was just like a punch in the face,” Mohammed said. “I was like ‘oh man, he’s gone.’”
What does he worry about? He worries about his jump shot — he wants it to be good enough to help his Boo Williams AAU team win the Peach Jam come mid-July. He also wants to be known for his play at both ends of the court, so he’s been taking on the opponents’ best players on the defensive side. He also continues to take pride in his ability to make his teammates better. It’s not as much about himself like it might be for a lot of big-time recruits during the summer. He still wants to win for his AAU squad just as much as he wants to help Greenwood repeat come the 2019-20 season.
“I’m trying to win,” Mohammed said. “At the same time, I have to perform. If I don’t perform or play well, anything that was given to you can be taken back. They can rank you this high or take you down that quick. I’m playing for the team to win. At the same time, individually, I gotta do what I gotta do.”
Mohammed’s stats naturally bring up discussion about the competition he’s going against. As a freshman, he was regularly competing against teams that included multiple blue-chip recruits. Now he’s playing in Class 2 in Missouri, which doesn’t yield the same caliber of opponent. Mohammed’s stats have also raised questions about how his game will translate to the college level. Missouri has seen freshman guard Torrence Watson struggle this season, partly because he came from Whitfield, a Class 3 school, where he averaged over 30 points per game.
Corey Evans, a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, said intangibles are key when evaluating prospects in Mohammed’s situation, which is why his grassroots season will be so intriguing. Evans has seen players with stats like Mohammed’s who greatly struggled in AAU competition, while others have flourished and backed up the hype.
He’s averaging 30 points and ten rebounds a game. 16 programs recruited Mohammed and Monday night the senior made his choice.
“It’s going to be Georgetown. When you look at it and say what about academics. That’s important. That’s just like saying that’s why it’s Georgetown, a great academic situation. Basketball or not, if you have a Georgetown degree you can pretty much go somewhere in the world. So that’s why it’s Georgetown,” said Mohammed.
Mohammed says he didn’t make his decision until Monday morning when he picked Georgetown over Georgia.
What position do they see you playing? Most times he [Ewing] talks about trying to get out and run, in terms of transition basketball. So I guess it’s going to be on the wing, and will involve me getting rebounds and pushing it up the floor.
How would you describe your relationship with Coach Ewing? Relationship-wise, it’s the same [as with other coaches]. But he played in the NBA and he has a lot of experience so I listen to what he’s saying, and most of the stuff he is saying is real talk. So far so good. He’s a great coach. I respect him and everything he is doing in trying to get me there.
One of his best strengths, and what helps unlock other parts of his game, is his ability to finish at the rim. At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Mohammed is able to overpower a lot of players with his frame, which is close to being NBA-ready already. But finishing at the rim is more than just having a big body and a lot of muscle. Mohammed plays with poise on the floor, and hardly gets flustered when driving through traffic on his way to the hoop. While he still appears to prefer finishing with his right hand, Mohammed has shown the ability to finish with his left hand as well, and uses his frame to absorb contact and finish through and around defenders regularly.
VIDEO: Greenwood 74, West Plains 43 - https://t.co/mPxGdkwvw3— Ozarks Sports Zone (@OzarksOzone) December 29, 2020
Aminu Mohammed scored 34 points to lead Greenwood past West Plains and to the semifinals of the Gold Bracket.
A physical and athletic 6-foot-5 scorer who has demolished the school scoring record at Springfield (Mo.) Greenwood in just over two seasons of play, he’s got the tools to make an immediate impact upon his arrival in Washington D.C. (where he began his high school career after moving to the United States from his home country of Nigeria).
Exactly what should Hoyas fans expect? First of all Mohammed is a competitor. He takes no plays off and he treats all competition as if they are the best players or team he’s ever played against. His bread and butter is using his strength and athleticism to get to the rim, make trips to the free throw line and to dominate on the glass. He beats opponents in transition, he has worked hard to become a threat from beyond the three-point line and he is always going to play hard.
Mohammed is set to graduate from Greenwood Laboratory School in Missouri next spring, but told 247 Sports that he will enroll in college early if the basketball season is cut short by the pandemic.
He’s the first five-star player Georgetown has secured since Ewing took over in 2017, highlighting an already-stellar class that includes four-star Ryan Mutombo and three-stars Tyler Beard, Jordan Riley and Jalin Billingsley. In October, the Hoyas’ 2021 recruiting class was ranked 14th in the country by 247 Sports.
Now, Georgetown is sixth behind only Michigan, Florida State, Kentucky, UCLA and Villanova. It’s a promising sign for the future with the Hoyas off to a 3-4 start following back-to-back losing seasons. Georgetown hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since the 2014-15 season under previous head coach John Thompson III.