Aminu Mohammed, perhaps the greatest high school basketball player to come through southwest Missouri, is hoping to hear his name called during Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
The draft starts Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Mohammed was drafted after one season at Georgetown. He had some impressive performances at the NBA Draft Combine and many workouts with other teams.
Nearly every mock draft from league prognosticators has Mohammed going undrafted, but there’s still hope he may hear his name called at some point in the second round. Mohammed is 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds. Mohammed is a solid defender but his offensive ability to take down shots from the rim is not widely recognized as NBA-ready.
Mohammed would be able to go undrafted, which would allow him to find the best deal for himself and sign with that particular team. If he goes undrafted, there would be plenty of interest in him. More and more athletes choose to go pro and then continue their development in the G League, even if they aren’t drafted.
If Mohammed isn’t picked, look for a two-way contract to be thrown his way. Two-way contracts allow players to spend the majority of the season in the G League, and no more than 45 days with their NBA counterparts. Two-way players are paid the same daily amount depending on how many days they play in each league.
Exhibit 10 contracts, which are basically invitations to training camp, can also be signed by players. A franchise has the option to make it a two-way contract, but the team must ensure that it happens before the regular season. These deals are usually not guaranteed. The player will be able to receive a $50,000 bonus if he or she spends 60 days with the G League affiliate.
Only a few basketball players from Southwest Missouri have been selected in the NBA Draft.
Here’s what the media have to say about Mohammed’s chances for being selected.
What are the national outlets saying?
Mohammed is the subject of very few scouting reports. This is because he is not likely to be selected in the first round.
Outlet rankings of overall players
The Athletic Draft Guide — The website went into the analytics of how 70 percent of Mohammed’s shots came either at the basket or off post-ups. The teams know that Mohammed will likely attack the rim, so they prepare for it. Mohammed’s shooting percentage was the worst among all 398 college basketball players that took more than 100 shots at or near the rim during this past season.
Mohammed stated that he is improving his 3-point shot to extend his game. Mohammed has been an outstanding athlete on every court that he has ever stepped on, but that’s not going be the case at the next stage.
According to the website, Mohammed was a lesser Luguentz Dort. He is the Oklahoma City Thunder swingman who made a living as an offensive player in the league but has limited defensive skills. The Athletic stated that it would love to see Mohammed receive a two way contract, but also believes that Mohammed should have gone back to school for another year.
NBA.com via RotoWire — “If the forward focuses on improving his efficiency, he should garner some NBA attention in the second round of the draft.”
Bleacher Report — “Defensive tools and toughness will give him a chance to stick. The hope will be for him to offer enough value as a transition weapon and an eventual, threatening spot-up shooter. He made 38.9 percent of his catch-and-shoot jumpers.”
Who is it that Aminu reportedly dated?
What has happened since the end of your season?
“Since my season ended, everything has pretty much been training in Dallas and improving my game going into these NBA workouts. I’m just trying to shoot my shot.”
What are you most trying to improve on right now?
“My main focus really has been my 3-point shot. It is getting better. The shot is always there, it is just being more consistent with it. I think it has improved a lot but to become a better shooter, a lot of time and repetition is needed. It doesn’t take a day or two — it takes a long period of time. Even in the short period of time, it has gotten better but there is still going to be some more work to be done to be that guy at the end of the day.”
You have a wingspan of 6’11”. How does that impact your defense? Is this something you are proud to do?
“Defense is something I take pride in. Watching basketball, I want to be in a role like Marcus Smart for the Celtics. He plays defense, he can guard. He takes a shot whenever it’s available. That kind of role is something I see myself doing. Defense I feel like can get me to where I’m trying to get to regardless of anything. I feel like if I’m able to go out there and guard multiple positions, I think it is going to make me more valuable in addition to the stuff I can also do offensively. I think there’ll be a great deal of opportunity.”
What would it look like to be drafted on June 23, 2003?
“It will mean a lot, not just for me but also for the kids back home in Nigeria wanting to play basketball, as well. I think that would inspire those kids to go for the intention of playing basketball. This whole thing is really not about me, it’s really about those other kids that are back home who are trying to get to the United States to fulfill their dream to play basketball. I’m just a face for them that they can see and understand that they can also do the same thing.”
What Mohammed did at Georgetown
As a freshman, Mohammed was Georgetown’s leading scorer. He was the highest-rated signee that Patrick Ewing had ever landed.
He was the Hoyas’ leading scorer with 13.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and was the only player to play in all 31 games of a team that went 6-25 overall. He scored 27 points at Creighton, a season-high, and was named to Big East All-Freshman.
What Mohammed did in Greenwood
Mohammed was a five star prospect and dominated the Ozarks basketball court for three years after he moved to the area in his sophomore year.
Greenwood won a state championship as a sophomore under Mohammed, and also won a pair Blue and Gold Tournament titles. After his senior season, he was named McDonald’s All-American after which he was also named Missouri’s Gatorade player of the year.
He ended his prep career scoring 3,219 points and 1,478 rebound.
This report was produced by USA Today Network.
Wyatt D. Wheeler works as a reporter and columnist for the Springfield News-Leader. You can reach him at 417-371-96987 or by email at [email protected] or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. He’s also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.