Abukar and Jenkins arrive in Louisville
A day after receiving a visit from Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino, Mohamed Abukar arrived in Louisville to participate in the Derek Anderson Derby Festival Basketball Classic.
Shortly after arriving in town, Abukar and the rest of the all stars arrived at Ballard High School to meet the media and practice with their respective teams. Abukar, who is considering Louisville, Kentucky, Florida and UCONN, was a popular player with the local media.
And Mohamed spoke with ITV first upon arriving in the gym.
Early this morning Ollie Goulston, Abukar's AAU coach, told ITV that Mohamed's visit with Pitino went well. And Abukar agreed with Goulston assessment at practice Thursday afternoon.
"I think the visit went well. He's a real demanding coach....and he just said that I'd fit real well in his program and there's a good chance of me coming in and playing right away and I thought the meeting real well." Abukar told ITV.
Mohamed talked about the factors that would influence his decision the most.
"Number one the relationship with the head coach, opportunity to play right away....those are the two things that are going to decide it for me, " Abukar said.
With teams like the Gators, Huskies, Cardinals and Wildcats in hot pursuit of this multi-skilled prospect does anyone lead at this point of the race?
"No not really," Abukar said. "I want to know within the next three weeks."
Do any of the coaches recruiting Mohamed stand out from the the others?
"All of them right now are great guys," Abukar said. "I think I just need to go on visits, see the schools and try to distinguish them from there."
Abukar, who signed with Georgia and now lists two SEC schools among his finalists certainly likes the idea of playing in the SEC. So the question becomes is playing in the Southeastern Conference the over riding factor in Abukar's decision?
"The SEC is one of the best leagues out there..I want to play in the SEC, but then again Louisville has a great league too," Abukar said.
In the next few days Abukar will be treated to traditional Louisville hospitality and have a chance to get to know what the city is all about. And his initial impressions of the Ville seemed positive.
"It seems like a good place," Abukar said of the Derby City.
Mohamed Akubar & Brandon Jenkins
And playing on the White team with Abukar is Louisville signee Brandon Jenkins.
Jenkins led Detroit Southeastern High to the Michigan Class A State quarterfinals and is looking forward to playing in his future home.
"Oh yeah, I'm real excited. I'll be playing here the next four years so I can't wait to play and start right here," Jenkins said.
Jenkins, an unselfish point guard, is looking to show UofL fans what he's all about on the basketball court.
"When I play Saturday I'm going to make sure I get everybody involved first, like I'm used to playing the point guard...pass first before I shoot," Jenkins said.
And that's typical Brandon Jenkins. Always thinking of the team first!
Abukar is silky smooth. He handles the ball well in the open court, knocks down jumpers off the dribble and shoots with range. He possesses incredible footwork for a 6'10 player and passes the ball well. One long time observer likened Abukar to former UCLA great Keith Wilkes, noting his smooth style of play on the court. Abukar has tremendous potential and offensive ability and was clearly one of the top players on the floor tonight.
Jenkins is tremendously unselfish and because of that he probably won't shine in an all star setting. But he has big time athleticism, can get to the hoop and finish or create for teammates and will knock down the open three. Jenkins has quick hands on defense and a knack for blocking shots near the rim.
Notes from practice
- 7'2 Shagari Alleyne from Rice High in the Bronx verbally committed to the University of Kentucky.
- 6'9 Brandon Bender attended the practice session this afternoon.
- Martin Iti appears to be the best big man in this year's event.
- The Stewart twins, Loderick and Roderick, from Seattle, WA should be the favorites to win the slam dunk contest.
- Pat Ewing, Jr. has solid athletic ability and showed the ability to finish at the hoop.