UCLA Signs Shabazz Muhammad to a National Letter of Intent
UCLA head coach Ben Howland announced today the signing of Shabazz Muhammad to a National Letter of Intent to attend UCLA in the fall of 2012.
Muhammad, a 6-foot-6-inch, 215-pound wing out of Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman High School), is a McDonald's All-American and joins the early signing class that consisted of fellow McDonald's All-American, Kyle Anderson, a 6-foot-8-inch, 225-pound point guard out of North Bergen, N.J. (St. Anthony High School) and Jordan Adams, a 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound wing out of Atlanta (Oak Hill Academy).
"Shabazz Muhammad is the No. 1 player in the country and his signing at UCLA is huge for our program," Howland said. "I'm just so excited because he is a great kid that embodies what is needed to be an excellent student-athlete. He is an outstanding student who is a great person and is obviously a very special player. He brings so many skills to the table. He is very athletic and is a very strong and explosive player who is a very good passer and scorer and is an outstanding shooter. He will be a very special player for us."
Muhammad led all high school seniors in scoring at 29.4 points per game and also averaged 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists to lead the Gaels to a 28-4 record and the 2012 Nevada 4A State Championship. He scored a game-high 36 points in the state title game. He was named the 2012 Naismith Boy's High School Player of the Year and selected by the McDonald's All-American committee as the 2012 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year. He also was named the MVP of the 2012 McDonald's All-American game on March 28, leading the West to a 106-102 victory over the East, scoring a game-high 21 points in 22 minutes of action. Also won the Powerade Jam Fest dunk contest and will play for the West in 2012 Jordan Brand Classic on April 14 in Charlotte, N.C. Despite a record-setting 35 points from Muhammad, the World Select Team captured an 84-75 win over the USA Junior National Select Team in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit.
While at Bishop Gorman HS, the left-hander was named the 2011 and 2012 Gatorade State Player of the Year in Nevada under head coach Grant Rice. He was also honored as the 2012 Las Vegas Review-Journal's Class 4A Boy's Basketball Player of the Year. He played four varsity seasons at BGHS where he captured three (2009, 2010 and 2012) Nevada 4A state titles while becoming the program's all-time leading scorer. On the season, he scored 40-plus points four times and 30 or more points 10 times in 2012. As a junior in 2010-11, he averaged 25.1 points and 7.7 rebounds to help his team to a state semifinals appearance.
"I chose to be a Bruin so I will be at UCLA next year," Muhammad told the nation on a live telecast on ESPNU on April 11. "I look forward to the challenge of getting them back on top. I know that they are the leaders in championships with 11 and that Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams are great additions to the program. There is a lot of great pieces returning on the team that will make it a great team in the future."
Muhammad is ranked as the No. 1 player in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 2 by ESPN.com and Scout.com. ESPN and Scout have him rated as the No. 1 small forward in the country while Rivals ranked him as their No. 1 shooting guard. He joins Kyle Anderson, who is rated as the No. 3 player in the country by Rivals.com, the No. 4 player by Scout and No. 5 by ESPN. Anderson is rated the No. 1 small forward by Rivals and the No. 2 small forward by ESPN and Scout behind Muhammad. The third signee of the class is Jordan Adams, who is rated the No. 41 player in the country by ESPN.com. Adams is also rated No. 62 by Rivals and No. 75 by Scout. ESPN rates Adams as the No. 9 small forward in the country while Rivals has him at No. 14 and Scout at No. 16. Muhammad's signing to UCLA jumped the Bruins from No. 12 on ESPN's recruiting class rankings to No. 3. UCLA is the only program to land two of the top five recruits in the 2012 class.
Muhammad Signs Letter of Intent
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