MYRTLE BEACH — Bishop Gorman (Nev.) senior Rashad Muhammad had less hype surrounding him entering the Beach Ball Classic than his older brother and UCLA standout Shabazz Muhammad, who was named the Most Outstanding Player in last year’s tournament.
Rashad showed he’s no slouch, either, with one of the better performances in the tournament. In four games played, Muhammad averaged 24.8 points and led the Gaels to a fifth-place finish.
“I think I shot really well out here so that actually was a plus,” said Muhammad, who was given a scout grade of 70 by ESPN.com. “It was pretty easy to score and I was just trying to help my team win. A lot of teams keyed on me so I didn’t want to force anything, I just wanted to play hard and let everything out.”
Muhammad certainly hasn’t drawn as much college interest as Shabazz, who was offered by many top programs in the nation. But he’s optimistic about his future at the next level.
“I just got one offer recently from Utah State and that’s the only one so far,” Muhammad said. “I’m just trying to play hard and hopefully I catch some coach’s attention and get some offers before the end of the season.”
Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice acknowledged that Rashad has stepped up his game this season.
“He’s taken on a big-time scoring role this year,” Grant said. “He’s been one of those guys. Last year he started some games for us and came off the bench but we had some big-time seniors, his brother being one of them.
“But he’s bought his time and just become a complete player. Putting up 99 points in four games is a big time effort.”
Muhammad credits older brother Shabazz for helping mold his game and the two are inspirations for each other.
“He helps me out so much,” Muhammad said. “He’s a big mentor for me and he’s a huge part of my development so I give him a lot of credit. We both support each other.”
Most Valuable Player by the numbers
Junior Paul White of tournament champion Whitney Young (Ill.) was named the Most Valuable Player.
White, 6-9, averaged 19 points, 3.5 steals and 1.8 blocks, and shot .622 percent from the field.
Most Outstanding Player by the numbers
Franklin’s (Ohio) Luke Kennard was named the Beach Ball Classic’s Most Outstanding Player.
The 6-5 sophomore averaged a double-double in the event with 32.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game.
The name game
Teams in the Beach Ball Classic consistently have some of the best names in high school basketball, as they did in 2012.
The First Team of the 2012 All-Beach Ball Classic Name Team is Bishop O’Connell’s Leroy Butts, Hudson Catholic’s ‘Club’ Med Fofana and Sammy ‘thank God it’s’ Friday, Myrtle Beach’s Nick ‘Boy’ Wunder, and Orem’s Tomas ‘plays’ De Piano.
On the Second Team are Scott County’s Tony ‘Dirty’ Martini and Niels Bunshoten, Bishop Gorman’s Obim Okeke, Orem’s Isaiah ‘Picture’ Frame, and Socastee’s Finn Melko.
Coaching the team is Orem’s Golden Holt, assisted by Whitney Young’s Tyrone ‘Sargeant’ Slaughter.
Players earning honorable mention are Bishop O’Connell’s Adrian Chuquillangui and Siyao Sun; Christ Presbyterian’s Andrew ‘Owner’s’ Manuel, Bishop Gorman’s ‘Bobby’ Orr Leumi; East Rutherford’s Shakari Jackson; Franklin’s Connor Stickelman; Hudson Catholic’s Nassir Barrino and Safee Sabur; Myrtle Beach’s [Put me] Tyshame Lewis; Orem’s Robert ‘T’ Rex and Ethen Chatterly; Rufus King’s Diamante Freeman; Saint Rita’s ‘Georgio’ Armani Chaney and Treston Forbes; Scott County’s Seth Crank ‘shaft’; and Wheeler’s Jerron ‘Where’s the’ Love and Nakahai Eastmond.