The timing couldn’t have been better for players everywhere to be tuned into two players, who at first glance might only seem to be linked by two very interesting and challenging names.
Giannis Antetokounpo and Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman’s basketball lives intersected this past weekend when MAAR’s University of Michigan Wolverine basketball team beat Florida St. on Saturday and advanced to this weekend’s Final Four in San Antonio and a day later CBS’s 60 Minutes profiled the Milwaukee Bucks’ GA, the man and the player.
While neither Giannis Antetokounpo or Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman were flying under the radar recently, it was especially fitting that these two individuals be joined together by some simple twists of fate:
- Both once flew way under the radar-GA in a Division II league in Greece as a raw, skinny youth and MAAR as a Two-Star prospect in Allentown, Pa. with offers from Lehigh, Robert Morris, Bucknell, Drexel and the like, but none from the upper echelons of Division I basketball.
- Both were “discovered”- GA by an agent and NBA scouts and MAAR by Coach John Beilein, who needed a guard at the last minute.
- Both player announcements were second-guessed by many “experts”.
- Both have been works in progress. GA averaged 6.8 ppg his first season and MAAR 4.5 ppg in his.
- Both have since elevated their games to the heights they currently enjoy.
- Despite their successes, both have remained humble and hungry-perhaps the best combination of traits a player can possess.