UCLA star forward Shabazz Muhammad, one of the best freshmen men’s basketball players in the country and potential top-five NBA draft pick, is not the age of 19 as UCLA’s media guide lists. Muhammad instead was born in 1992, not 1993 as listed and his father Ron Holmes attempted to cover it up. Here are details per the L.A. Times:
According to the UCLA men’s basketball media guide, he was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 13, 1993.
But a copy of Shabazz Nagee Muhammad’s birth certificate on file with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shows that he was born at Long Beach Memorial Hospital exactly one year earlier, making him 20 years old — not 19 as widely reported.
Here are images from UCLA’s media guide of Muhammad’s incorrectly reported age:
Muhammad always did look a bit more developed physically for his age, and now we know why. Making matters worse, after admitting to his son’s real age Holmes then tried to cover it up by bribing the reporter:
Asked about the discrepancy, [Ron] Holmes insisted his son was 19 and born in Nevada. “It must be a mistake,” he said.
Several minutes later, he changed his account, saying that his son is, in fact, 20 and was born in Long Beach.
Holmes expressed concern about disclosure of his son’s true age and his own criminal record and questioned whether either was newsworthy. He followed up with a text message.
“Bazz is going to blow up in the NBA lets team up and blow this thing up!!!” Holmes wrote to this reporter. “I’m going to need a publicist anyway why shouldn’t it be you. We can do some big things together.”
Now some may disagree, but there is nothing wrong with grooming your child for a future career in any field, may it be sports, medicine, engineering, etc. But when a parent cheats the system to give their child an unfair advantage, that’s when there is a problem.
Muhammad is indeed one of the better players in the nation as has a bright NBA future ahead of him, but the manner by which he is getting there is a bit tainted by this news being released. Muhammad’s status now goes from a developing 19-year old freshman that plays above his age/grade level to that of a 20-year old that should be a sophomore who has enjoyed a development advantage over his competition leading up to college.
Will Muhammad still be a lottery pick? More than likely yes, because a team will care more about what Muhammad can contribute on the basketball court than an added year on his birth certificate. But now he won’t come without any red flags due to his father’s bending of the rules.
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