By Ahmed Al-Hilali TMO
Mahmoud Abdul Rauf, former NBA star, has once again come to Dearborn to host a biannual basketball clinic at the Wise facility (corner of Ford and Telegraph Rd). 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. 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€œThe reason I am where I am right now, is because of Allah SWT. Even before I was a Muslim, I believed in a God. I would always pray, then practice. I believe this is the key to my success,â€ said Abdul Rauf to the 40 participants in the opening day. The clinic started from April 4th, and lasted through April 6th.
These 40 participants know each other very well because of the last clinic. This clinicâ€™s main goal was to establish a brotherhood between the players; it definitely has.
Abdul Rauf has inspired me to achieve great things. He has taught me to take all the negatives I receive and will receive, and turn it into positive fuel. This is the one thing he did when he was a kid.
The results of this clinic were 10 times as great as the first. Everybody got jerseys, trading cards, shoes, shirts, and in some cases, foreheads signed by Mahmoud. Once, on the 3rd and final day, I had requests from friends to attain autographs from Abdul Rauf. He signed them with a smile. I apologized for irritating him, but he simply replied â€œNo itâ€™s no problem at all! Alhamdulillah as long as I have hands capable of writing, Iâ€™m grateful to use them,â€
This sentence struck me hard, and made me evaluate the things Iâ€™m grateful for in life. Mahmoud Abdul Rauf is, and will always be, an inspiration to me.
In Sha Allah, this clinic will be held again in 6 months, and will be aiming to achieve a higher level of success than the past two.
â€œAnybody can make it into the NBA; itâ€™s just a matter of how badly you want it. If your training is as high as your desire to make it, then you will,â€ -Abdul Rauf.