Shabazz Muhammad wasn’t truthful about his age while attending Bishop Gorman High School.
But Friday’s revelation that the UCLA star freshman is a year older than many thought won’t end up hurting the Gaels.
The Los Angeles Times on Friday reported that Muhammad’s birth certificate shows that he was born Nov. 13, 1992. UCLA records, and assumedly those at Gorman, show Muhammad’s birth year as 1993.
Muhammad, a four-year standout on the Gaels’ varsity and one of the nation’s most sought-after recruits as a senior, turned 19 years old in 2011, before the start of his senior season at Gorman.
Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association rules allow participation by students until their 20th birthday.
The specific rule is Nevada Administrative Code 386.781, which states that “a pupil whose 20th birthday occurs during a season is ineligible to participate in any sanctioned sport during that season and any season that is conducted after that date.”
Muhammad also did not participate for more than eight consecutive semesters after his ninth-grade enrollment, meaning that NIAA rule also was not broken.
“He still would have been eligible to play,” NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson said. “He’s good on both accounts.”
Bishop Gorman boys basketball coach Grant Rice did not return a call seeking comment.
Muhammad helped Gorman win NIAA Class 4A state titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012. The Gaels were 111-17 overall and 63-1 in Southwest League games in his four seasons.
His younger brother Rashad, a senior at Gorman, helped the Gaels to the state Division I title this season.
Shabazz Muhammad averaged 17.8 points this season for UCLA and was named the Pacific 12 Conference Freshman of the Year. He scored 20 points in Friday’s 83-63 loss to Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament. He is expected to enter the NBA Draft, at which he is projected to be a top-five pick.
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at email@example.com or (702) 387-5230.
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