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Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Saadiq Muhammad: From Michigan to Valdosta

Written by Bryce Ethridge, Staff Writer

You wake up one morning to play basketball with your big brother, in hopes that you’ll be able to make a few points and try to do some damage. You end up getting thrashed on the court by him because he’s older, bigger and has more experience than you. Then you put it in your mind that you’re going to get better. You’re going to practice every day just so you can get better. This is what it was like for VSU forward, Saadiq Muhammad.

Muhammad is originally from Flint, Michigan, but his parents moved to Savannah, Georgia, when he was an infant for the warm weather. When the senior lived at home, he lived with both his parents, five sisters and an older brother.

“I was inspired to play basketball because I started growing tall,” Muhammad said. “My older brother also played basketball, and he beat me in it a lot.”

Muhammad’s basketball career didn’t start out well.

“When I was in sixth grade, I tried out and got cut,” Muhammad said.

Even though he was upset at not making the team, Muhammad practiced every day until seventh grade tryouts, when he made the team.

By ninth grade Muhammad had blossomed into a star on the court. He was able to dunk, and he made the varsity team. By the end of his senior year of high school, Muhammad earned a number of scholarships and won the state championship.

“Basketball has taken me a lot of places as far as opportunities; getting to see places I never thought I would see and getting to meet people I never thought I would meet,” Muhammad said.

After high school, Muhammad started college out at Savannah State University.

“I loved it, but I was too distracted,” Muhammad said. “I needed to focus on my academics and just work on being a better person. VSU has allowed me to do that.”

Muhammad said his family were the people that always pushed him to do great.

“I always remember where I come from; not where I’m going,” Muhammad said. “That’s what motivates me.”

While Muhammad said he gets along with everyone, he said Justin Simon and Marquise Simuels two teammates that he’s close with.

“We push each other at practice,” said forward Justin Simon. “Saadiq is a natural born leader. He’s been a great leader for the team and there’s no one that can stop him in the league. I’m very proud of him.”

Muhammad leads the Gulf South Conference in field goal percentage with .607. He’s also 12th in blocks with 18 and 13th in rebounds with 126.

Muhammad, who’s an international business major, plans to continue playing basketball overseas after graduating from VSU. After he can no longer play, he said he plans to start a business overseas.

“I could see myself living overseas, but I’m not sure yet,” Muhammad said. “I’m just going with the flow.”

The team is currently at the top of the Gulf South Conference with a 17-3 overall record, and a 12-2 conference record. Muhammad will look to help VSU keep its winning streak going against Mississippi College today.

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