College shooting guard Musa Abdul-Aleem was ruled out for several weeks due to an ongoing foot injury. He had been settling in at the University of South Florida. The 6â€™5 junior menâ€™s basketball transferred to USF from Georgia Perimeter College last fall after turning down a similar scholarship offer from the University of Memphis. Musaâ€™s twin brother, Muhammad, plays basketball at Florida A & M University.
Abdul-Aleem was the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Freshman of the Year at Georgia Perimeter College, scoring 14.6 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in his final season at GPC. At the time of Abdul-Aleemâ€™s transfer decision, GPC Assistant Coach David Dennis spoke about Musaâ€™s reasoning to the Tampa Tribune:
â€œThere were some smaller factors, some intangible factors, that probably pushed the visit and pushed his decision over the edge. The fact that his dad lives in Orlando, and Musa actually grew up in Tampa. Being a devout Muslim and following Islam, a lot of the people at the mosque and those things like that that he knew when he was a kid. It makes the transition for him a lot smoother and a lot easier.â€
Coach Dennis also told the St. Petersburg Times:
â€œHeâ€™s one of the better scorers youâ€™ll see. Not only can he score, heâ€™s a shooter as well, a rare combination. You may have guys that shoot the ball well, or score with the ball. He does both very well. Excellent mid-range game. He can post up, put it on the floor and get by guys on the bounce. Heâ€™s as complete as you want to be as an offensive player.
Abdul-Aleem was not heavily recruited coming out of high school in Atlanta, Georgia, reportedly due to being home schooled and focusing on his Muslim faith rather than playing on the highly-compeitive AAU circuit. He then took a couple of years off (during which he performed his Hajj). Musa then enrolled at GPC and was ultimately noticed by college scouts after playing in two junior college showcase events over the summer. Unfortunately, he subsequently broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot, which forced him to sit out the entire 2011-2012 season.
Now, most recently he was taken out of action for another 4-6 weeks starting in mid October of 2012. â€œIt didnâ€™t totally heal up the way it was supposed to. Heâ€™ll be away from us for a little while,â€ USF head coach Stan Heath told the Tampa Bay Times. Abdul-Aleem is reportedly wearing a walking boot right now but should be able to return to the team midway through the nonconference season. â€œThe doctors say he needs to take a little time and let it heal up, so thatâ€™s what weâ€™re going to do. They want to take some pressure off his foot,â€ Heath added.