FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- There’s a lot to like about the game of 2015 Shaker Heights (Ohio) and All-Ohio Red four-star power forward Esa Ahmad.
Standing 6-foot-8, 210-pounds, Ahmad is athletic enough to play on the perimeter with a unique skill set, but also smart enough to understand the value of mismatches for him, something he’s certainly looking to exploit this spring and summer.
“I just try to do whatever the team needs me to do,” Ahmad said. “If I have a smaller defender I try to go down on the block and if I have a bigger defender I try to take him off the dribble.”
Over the weekend at Spiece Run-n-Slam, Ahmad was effective in both areas, consistently knocking down his midrange jumpers off pick and pop looks, as well as finishing in acrobatic fashion at the rim.
For Ahmad, the focus is all about doing whatever he can to pick up wins.
“Just making plays for my team,” he said. “My playmaking ability I think is the biggest part of my game so, that’s what I’m going to keep trying to do.”
The offer from Thad Matta and his staff is one that has a little extra sentiment for the Ohio native.
“It meant a lot,” Ahmad said. “You grow up watching the Buckeyes cause you’re from the state so, it meant a lot.”
Michigan and Coach John Beilein are showing increased interest in Ahmad as well, enough for him to make a swing through the state to check out Ann Arbor and East Lansing to see Michigan State in the near future.
“They’ve been contacting my dad,” Ahmad said. “We plan on making a visit there and to Michigan State.”
Though Michigan’s one-day college practice camp is coming up on June 7, Ahmad isn’t planning to be in attendance for that.
As far as a date for the unofficial visits, Ahmad added, “It’s coming up in a few weeks.”
“I like Michigan,” Ahmad said. “They give you a chance to run, the guys play their game. And we also have an alum, Trey Burke, so I watched them a lot too.”
Ahmad admitted he doesn’t know Burke personally but is familiar with Burke’s father, Benji who told him, “Stay humble. Pick a college I want to go to.”
Overall, Ahmad is looking for a basketball program that will allow him the opportunity to put his ability on full display as soon as he arrives on campus.
“You’re always looking at if you’re going to play right away,” Ahmad said. “Just the coaching staff, the players, and the style of play.”
Also planning visits to West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa and Iowa State, Ahmad doesn’t plan to wait too long regarding a decision as the early signing period approaches in November.
“I think I’m going to commit by the end of summer,” Ahmad said.