While passing through Las Vegas over the last few months for various basketball travels, we were able to catch up with 2012 SLAM diarist Shabazz Muhammad. We were invited to watch Bazz work out with his father, Ron Holmes, at Bishop Gorman and had the chance to speak with him for a few minutes afterward.
SLAM spoke to ‘Bazz about what he’s looking to improve upon the most, how he’ll be utilized in UCLA’s offense and how he’ll be using his post game in Westwood.
SLAM: Man, you went through one hell of a workout. What are the main things that you’re looking to work on before you start playing for UCLA?
Shabazz Muhammad: I’m just trying to focus on my jumpshooting. I think that on the next level, jump shooting and three-point shooting are the most important thing. I’m trying to get to the next level, so I’m trying to get my jump shot down and improve my mechanics.
SLAM: Has Coach Howland told you specifically how they’re going to use you in the offense at UCLA?
SM: Oh yeah. I’m going to come off picks, set a lot of plays for me, and be a playmaker. He said he wants me to come in and lead the team. They’ve had a down year or two lately, so all of us freshmen are going to come in there, lead the pack, and get as many wins as we can.
SLAM: You spent a long time working on your post game today. Is that something you’re planning on utilizing at UCLA?
SM: Absolutely. That’s the most important part of my game because I want to be so versatile and get guys in the post. That jump hook shot is really important to me and I think that it’s a really good addition to my game.
SLAM: What does the rest of the offseason have in store for you?
SM: Just working out. I’m trying to work out and get my body right. Just got lifting so it’s lift and play, lift and play. I’m just ready to get started in Westwood.
SLAM: Any specific goals that you’ve set in the weight room?
SM: No, not really. I’ve been gaining a lot of weight. I’m about 220, 222. I think I’m doing a really good job.
SLAM: Now that it’s finally over, what would you say that the proudest moment of your high school career was?
SM: Man, I’d say winning three state championships. I think that’s a really important thing and most high school players can’t even say that they won one state title. It’s a really prestigious thing for us.