By Ahmed al-Hilali, TMO
Mahmoud Abdul Rauf, whoâ€™s former name is Chris Jackson, was a basketball player for the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, and the Vancouver Grizzlies. His 8 year career included the Slam Dunk Contest, and generating one of the most accurate free-throw shooting percentages in NBA. He is considered to be the best free throw shooter in the NBA, and missed the all-time record by a SINGLE miss in the â€™93-â€™94 season. He changed his name 2 years after embracing Islam. He became popular when people started noticing he wasnâ€™t standing for the National Anthem. He would either be stretching, have his hands in his pockets, or may just be in the locker room waiting for the call of the opening line up. His reply was that the flag was a symbol of â€œtyranny and oppressionâ€. Even Michael Jordan had something to say about Abdul Rauf: â€œHeâ€™s a good kid,â€ said Jordan. â€œHeâ€™s got his beliefs, and I may not agree with them, but I give him all the credit for trying to stick to them.â€
Everybody dreams of playing with NBA players, but few ever get the chance. 40 selected people from the Dearborn community got that chance at Mahmoudâ€™s basketball clinic held at the WISE facility on the corner of Ford Rd and Telegraph Rd. The basketball clinicâ€™s goals did include an improvement in the participantsâ€™ basketball skills, but the main purpose was to build a family bond; an everlasting friendship with those 40 selected people. â€œIf you put Allah first, before anything in your life, you can be whatever you want with Allahâ€™s help,â€ said Abdul Rauf to the 40 participants in the opening day.
The basketball clinic started from July 27th, through July 30th. Abdul Rauf showed us participants many basketball moves and crossovers that he guaranteed would make us better if we practiced these fundamentals.
The clinic will be held every 6 months, and every participant will aim to gain better skills then they had last week.