Charlotte Bobcats center Nazr Mohammed scored 18 points and pulled down 8 rebounds to help his team hold off the Toronto Raptors at home 97-91. This was a breakout game for the 33 year old center after getting limited playing time the past couple of years. The 6 foot 10 inch Mohammed has played for the Bobcats for exactly three years, after having been traded to Charlotte by the Detroit Pistons in December of 2007.
The son of Ghanan immigrants, Nazr grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He very quickly got the attention of college scouts, and was recruited by the legendary University of Kentucky menâ€™s basketball program in the fall of 1995. He played very little during his freshman campaign as the Wildcats went on to win the NCAA tournament. Mohammed was able to slim down from a hefty 315 pounds to grab a share of the starting center position during his sophomore season, and the team went on to lose in the title game that year. Finally, in Nazrâ€™s junior season he was a key contributor on a team that continued its dominance by winning its second NCAA tournament title in three years.
Mohammed chose to turn professional after his junior season, and he went on to be selected with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 1998 National Basketball Association draft by the Utah Jazz. However, his rights were promptly sent to the Philadelphia 76ers in a draft-day deal. Mohammed went on to play three seasons in Philadelphia, followed by stints with the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, and of course the Charlotte Bobcats. He has continued to prove to be a useful player off the bench, especially valuable for his rebounding and defensive skills. And he can still contribute significant numbers when called upon, as witnessed by a 21 point, 20 rebound performance this past February, in addition to his exploits the other night against Toronto.