Antigua pursues massive center

The University of Pittsburgh basketball program will need to add a slew of big men to their roster after the departure of center Aaron Gray and power forward Levon Kendall. It appears that Panthers assistant coach Orlando Antigua is in hot pursuit of a massive center from New Jersey. Read on for details.

The University of Pittsburgh will soon be looking to replace center Aaron Gray. Panthers' Assistant Coach Orlando Antigua appears to have targeted a massive prospect from Franklin High School in Somerset, NJ. His name is Hamidu Rahman and he stands 6-foot-10 inches and weighs 260 pounds. Rahman recently participated at the Reebok ABCD Camp and he was heavily scrutinized by the Panther coaching staff.

The recently spoke with Rahman and his AAU Head Coach Rob Brown.

"Hamidu is roughly 6-foot-10 inches tall and a solid 260 pounds," stated Rob Brown, Head Coach for the AAU Team Final. "He's a huge physical specimen. I have coached Hamidu for three years now. He has been starting for our AAU teams since the end of his freshman year with us."

When Coach Brown was asked to describe Rahman's strengths and areas of improvement, he quickly stated, "He has a pretty good hook shot and he's improving offensively. If he gets low with the ball, he's unstoppable due to his size. I think he needs to improve at running the floor on offense and defense."

"There are a number of Big East teams pursing Hamidu. Pitt, Louisville, Seton Hall, Providence and Rutgers are just some of them. I think Pitt is recruiting him the hardest. They are doing the best job to date. Coach (Orlando) Antigua has been Hamidu's primarily recruiter. Coach (Jamie) Dixon will check in with me every so often to see how he's doing."

"Hamidu has an entire year to improve before heading to college. I assume he could be a solid backup his freshman year and make an impact after that. He has the size right now to rebound and defend in the Big East. The Panthers have an excellent shot at landing him."

"I have scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, St. Johns, Seton Hall and Rutgers," stated Hamidu Rahman. "At this point, most of the Big East schools are after me. The Panthers are definitely one of my favorites."

"I like the Big East. The conference is known for producing a number of great big men."

Rahman averaged 12 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocked shots a game as a junior. rakes him a "three-star" center prospect.

"I want to go to a school fairly close to home and I want to go to a school that offers playing time," he said. "I know the Panthers lose Aaron Gray after this season and I don't think they have another center on their roster. I could probably go there and see a lot of playing time."

Hamidu indicated that he idolizes the Miami Heat starting center Shaquille O'Neal. He attempts to mimic O'Neal's physical style on the basketball court. "I know the Panthers are known as a physical team. I'm a physical player that doesn't shy away from contact. I think I would fit in well there," he said.

"I would like to commit to a team in the fall. I'm still looking into my options but I'm very high on the Panthers."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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