Atlanta area boysâ€™ high school basketball player Tahj Shamsid Deen wonâ€™t be graduating until 2013. But he can already rest assured that he is wanted. This week received his first college scholarship offer, and it was from the prestigious academic institution Northwestern University in Chicago. Not bad for a 15-year-old kid who stands at only 5 foot 8 inches and 160 pounds. And Northwestern is not alone, as basketball powerhouse programs Connecticut, Florida, and Memphis are reportedly also interested in the young man.
â€œHeâ€™s a 50-year-old midget,â€ says his high school coach, Columbia Highâ€™s Phil McCrary, â€œIt speaks to his maturity level. He thinks way beyond his age,â€ he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. â€œItâ€™s a compliment, not at all meant in a derogatory way. Itâ€™s just that most kids his age make simple and minor mistakes on the floor. Itâ€™s rare for Tahj because heâ€™s more mature than most of the point guards he plays against.â€
He added, â€œHow many 15-year-olds do you know that are constantly looking up at the clock, knowing the situation they are in? How many always know where to go with the basketball? Know when to shoot? When to slow it down? And when to take over a game? All that stuff, Tahj has already learned. Thatâ€™s why I call him a â€˜50-year-old midgetâ€™ because his knowledge is way beyond his age.â€
ESPN.com rates Tahj as the 37th best point guard in the nation in the class of 2013 and offers the following scouting report: Tahj pushes the ball with good pace in transition and displays the ability to hit the stop and pop mid range pull up around the foul line. Shamsid-Deen is a lefty with a smooth stroke. He can hit the open three and runner in the lane as well. Shamsid-Deen has a tight handle and does a good job of drive, drawing and kicking to open teammates when he draws a second defender. He can pressure the ball with his excellent lateral foot speed and quick hands as well. Tahj must add strength and continue to develop his game but Shamsid-Deen is definitely on to keep a close eye on this spring and summer.This young lead guard had some very impressive possessions. He competes and plays with confidence. He also does a nice job of running the offense and keeping the team organized.
And to top it off, Tahj is a stellar student as well. He already posted a qualifying SAT score for college while only in the seventh grade. He has nearly a 4.0 GPA in high school and is a finalist for the Governorâ€™s Cup in math. Inshallah there are big things in store for this little fellow.