"Cattracks on the Air": Mustafa Shakur

This past Wednesday night, "Cattracks on the Air" had another special guest on the show, 6'3" point guard Mustafa Shakur from Wynnewood, PA. Shakur committed to play college basketball for Lute Olson and Arizona on Tuesday afternoon and we booked him for the show later that night. The following is the complete transcript from the interview with the nation's No. 1 point guard.

Doug Carr: How are you, man?
Mustafa Shakur: "I'm good."

DC: You know the city of Tucson is going crazy with the commitments of Ndudi Ebi last week and now you this week. He's rated as the number one power forward in the country and you're rated as the number one point guard in the country so lots of excitement for Wildcat basketball. Tell us about the process was for making your decision.
Mustafa Shakur: "I just felt it was the best place for me. I fell in love with the players and thought they were good guys. They worked hard and I really liked the way they did everything together, even off the court."

DC: You bring a lot to the court and it looked like you had a good time with the guys while you were here. Kind of describe your game to us and let the fans know what they are going to see when they see Mustafa Shakur.
Mustafa Shakur: "I just try to fill up the stat sheet and play an all-around game. Passing, scoring, whatever the team needs I try to provide at that particular time."

Brad Allis: You're Arizona's first big name recruit from the Philadelphia area. What kind of reputation does Arizona have on the East Coast?
Mustafa Shakur: "I think they're widely viewed as a good school overall and not just for point guards. Philly, I think has good respect for Arizona as well."

Brad:You chose between Arizona and North Carolina State and none of the Philadelphia area schools were really involved but what was it about those two schools that you liked? Was it style of play, coaches or an overall feel?
Mustafa Shakur: "Well the (Philly schools) were involved just not that much at the end. As for the others it was a combination of overall feel and the coaches and players."

Ben Hansen: Arizona has a long tradition of producing fine guards, as you know. How much did that influence your decision in becoming a Wildcat?
Mustafa Shakur: "It was a big influence with me being a guard. I want to improve in any way I can and this is the place where I'm happy and it's the place where I want to be."

Ben: From talking with you before I know that you are familiar with a lot of the past guards at Arizona and that you like quite a few of them, including Mike Bibby. But who are some of the others that you liked as far as their game goes?
Mustafa Shakur: "Damon Stoudamire, of course. He's really fast and quick and can get the ball up the court and he's real decisive on the court. I like Jason Terry. All of them are really good in their own right. Even Sean Elliott, I know he's not a point guard but he was a great player too."

Ben: What do you want to accomplish and what can you help the team do while you're at Arizona?
Mustafa Shakur: "I just want to win, that's what I want to accomplish every day on the court. I want to win and help my team. Get open looks and make the game easier for everyone on the court."

Ben: Now aren't some of the guys that you played pickup with while you were here going to give you a chance to make the game easier on you? Like Hassan and Andre, playing with those guys on the wing has got to be pretty exciting as a point guard.
Mustafa Shakur: "Yeah, definitely because they're good finishers. If you get them open, nine times out of ten those guys are going to finish."

Ben: Are those guys two of the more athletic players you've had a chance to play with over the summer or during the course of your career so far?
Mustafa Shakur: "Definitely. I was very impressed when watching Hassan and Andre play."

Ben: When you came down here on your visit who were some of the guys that you really got along with and felt comfortable around?
Mustafa Shakur: "I felt that I got along with everyone but for the most part I was around Hassan, Andre, Jason Gardner and Luke. And Channing."

Ben: Jawann McClellan is a recruit that Arizona has coming in a year after you and he was at the ABCD camp with you this summer. I talked to his father a few days ago and he told me that when Jawann got back from there he told him that you were the closest thing to Magic Johnson that he'd ever seen. What kind of compliment is that in your eyes, being compared to one of the greatest players of all-time?
Mustafa Shakur: "It's an unbelievable compliment. Magic Johnson is an NBA great and a Hall of Fame player. That's a great compliment."

Ben: How do some of your friends and family feel about your decision to come to Arizona, are they happy and are they going to be able to watch you?
Mustafa Shakur: "They were happy. They felt it was a good decision. A lot of them think that they'll be able to get out to see some games and they'll get the dish so they can get the games that aren't on TV (in Philly) so I don't think it'll be too much of a problem."

Brad: Now Tucson is a lot different than Philadelphia not only from weather and size but pretty much everything. What did you think about Tucson when you came out here, can you see yourself living here for a couple of years?
Mustafa Shakur: "Oh yeah, of course. I don't think it was too much of a problem because the humidity isn't the same as it is here. When it's ninety degrees here it's sweltering hot. Tucson, or where I'll be situated (as a Wildcat) is a good college town. The city of Philadelphia is definitely a lot different."

Ben: Is there one particular area in your game that you feel that you need to work on before getting to Arizona?
Mustafa Shakur: "I want to work on everything but the thing in particular that I want to work on is strength, though. And gaining weight."

Ben: That's kind of the same boat that your fellow Wildcat recruit Ndudi Ebi is in as far as putting on some weight. Have you had a chance to play with Ndudi, watch him play or talk to him?
Mustafa Shakur: "I've seen him play briefly but I haven't had a chance to talk to him or view his game as much as everyone else I guess."

Ben (Like an idiot, asks basically the same question from earlier): Is there a lot of respect for Arizona out there as much as there is here, is Arizona on TV a lot in that area?
Mustafa Shakur: "Yeah, I mentioned that before. We have a lot of respect for Arizona, you know, because it's a main stream program. The games come on a lot with ESPN and here and there and we get what's going on down there, too."

Brad: Any plans to come out here again before you actually enroll in school?
Mustafa Shakur: "Hopefully. Maybe that's something I'll have to talk over with the coaching staff to see what's good. But hopefully I can get out there and see some games."

Ben: Who are some of your favorite players you've watched over the last three or four years in college basketball and who have you tried to emulate your game after?
Mustafa Shakur: "I don't really try to emulate my game after anyone in college."

Ben: What about from the NBA then?
Mustafa Shakur: "I like Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, Jason Kidd, Magic; all of the all-time greats. Larry Bird, everyone. All the great point guards for sure though."

Ben: Tell us your thoughts on Michael Bibby. What do you like so much about his game?
Mustafa Shakur: "He plays with a lot of heart and determination and he doesn't give up. I watched a little bit of him at Arizona but I wasn't too much into college basketball, I mainly watched Temple growing up. I started liking Mike Bibby when he got to Vancouver and now at Sacramento."

Ben: Speaking of Temple, what happened with no real involvement from Temple? It's a Big Five school right there in your area, did John Chaney just not come calling and recruit you early?
Mustafa Shakur: "No, he recruited me but that doesn't mean it's the right place for me just because it's up the street, you know?"

Ben: Was Temple's style of play not real compatible with your style of play, was that part of it?
Mustafa Shakur: "I wouldn't even say the style, I just didn't feel that it was the right place for me."

Doug: How good is your high school team supposed to be this year?
Mustafa Shakur: "I think we'll be really good. Last year we were 22-3 and this year I think we have a good shot at probably repeating again to win our Friends League championship out here. I think we can win a good number of games but I hope to win every game, that's all I'm looking at."

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