Bishop Gorman swingman Shabazz Muhammad, ranked the No. 1 prep basketball prospect in the Class of 2012 by several recruiting services, announced Wednesday night that he would attend UCLA.
The 6-foot-6 Muhammad, who averaged 29.1 points and 5.3 rebounds while leading the Gaels to the Nevada state 4A title, picked the Bruins over Kentucky and Duke.
Muhammad, who last month eliminated UNLV and Kansas from his final list of schools, made the announcement during a nationally televised recruiting show on ESPNU.
UCLA had been rumored to be the team the beat last November when the Bruins inked guard/forward Kyle Anderson, a close friend of Muhammad’s, during the fall early signing period.
“I think how comfortable I was with the coach,” Muhammad said of why he picked the Bruins. “That was the main factor.”
Muhammad was the MVP of the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game after scoring 21 points two weeks ago and also was named the Naismith National Player of the Year.
“I think that it’s a challenge, knowing how bad (the Bruins) were these last two years, and it’s a challenge to really get them back to the top,” Muhammad added. “(And) knowing they are the leaders in (national) championships with 11. Kyle Anderson is a great addition to that program.”
Ironically, Muhammad’s father, Ron Holmes, starred at UCLA’s crosstown rival, USC, in the early 80’s.
It was also a big day for San Diego State which signed 6-foot-8 point forward Winston Shepard, a five star prospect for National High School Invitational champion Findlay Prep who is expected to be an impact player for the Aztecs as a freshman.