Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 1:40 pm  |  72 responses

Shabazz Muhammad’s Father Changed His Age to Make Him Younger

The LA Times has a deep-dive look at the way Shabazz Muhammad’s father steered his son from childhood to the NBA’s doorstep, and potentially on the verge of stardom. One of the key revelations in the story is that Ron Holmes took a year off Muhammad’s true age (he’s actually 20 years old, not 19 as officially stated by UCLA. This could have major implications at the NBA Draft.) A truly fascinating read; you should check out the whole thing: “Hoops lovers fixated on Muhammad highlight reels have missed the real show. Off the court, Holmes has been putting on a clinic on how to mint an NBA millionaire. He made sure Muhammad worked out with some of the sport’s finest trainers. He enrolled his son in one of the nation’s best high school basketball programs. He helped create a team tailored to showcase his boy’s strengths in the high-profile summer circuit. And somewhere along the line, a year was shaved off his son’s stated age, giving Muhammad an edge over players in his age group. But Holmes’ real genius has been navigating the cutthroat realm of college basketball. It’s a world in which school athletic departments, coaches and TV networks reap millions while young athletes, in Holmes words, are left with ‘crumbs.’ The father decided long ago that he would make the system work for him. For years, Holmes has tirelessly promoted the Shabazz Muhammad brand to scouts, journalists, money managers and others. Holmes navigated every difficulty, including a potentially devastating NCAA sanction that ultimately sidelined his son for only a few games. With Muhammad now projected as a top-five pick in June’s NBA draft, Holmes’ investment is about to pay off. ‘Basketball is a business, and he handled everything — all the coaches, all the scouts,’ said Grant Rice, Muhammad’s coach at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. ‘He took care of his son.’ The selling of Shabazz began before he was born. In the early 1980s, Holmes was a 6-foot-5 standout guard for USC. He never made it to the pros. But he was already thinking far into the future. As a student, Holmes said, he found himself fascinated by the careful breeding of thoroughbreds, the way that two fast, powerful horses could be crossed to create an even faster, more powerful colt. Around that time he met Faye Paige, a point guard, sprinter and hurdler at Cal State Long Beach. Spotting her at a summer league game, Holmes recalled saying to a friend: ‘See that No. 10? She’s going to be my wife, and we’re going to make some All-Americans.’”

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  • roscoe

    just like 99% of cougars


    Not the first and won’t be the last. For the love of money.

  • LakeShow

    Wow, his dad is nuts.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    This is pretty sickening. I wonder how his wife feels knowing she was selected to breed an athlete. Smh. I actually had a dude I grew up playing against whose father held him back a year in hopes of him dominating, he sucked tho.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    RIGHT!?!? — the story is disgusting imo.

  • LP

    wow…. so basically , at one point he was at a college freshmen playing as a senior in highschool…..nice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    not to be a hater but the games i saw he was good but nowhere near durant-like as a college freshman. to be honest and i am not playing the homer…i thought the freshman, rasheed suliamon had some better game and clutch moments than this kid to be honest. i say bust!

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Wow. This story has all sorts of disturbing angles.

  • bike

    He should market his sperm as a manufacturer of great b-ball players who excel at real estate fraud.

  • WackDaddy

    Honestly, this is one of the top-5 wackest things I have ever read, and I majored in History.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    the last couple lines are actually really effed up lol

  • scooter

    Man you fooled yourself if you thought he was going to be Durant. Suilamon had a pretty stellar season, he just ruined his future by going to duke and playing for the rat man. He’ll have him more one-dimensional than he ever imagined by next January.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sajjatam Sajjatam Tp Kulsomboon

    This is what you got out of this whole piece of news? That Rasheed Sulaimon is a better player? That Muhammad will be a bust?

    The main point here is that this father is one hell of a nut job.

  • LakeShow

    You didn’t read appropriately.

  • http://twitter.com/stepfdelaghetto Stepfan Raiford

    “See that No. 10? She’s going to be my wife, and we’re going to make some All-Americans.” That quote says it all. Living his dreams through his son. smh

  • Datkid

    Jeez man…smart… but creepy.

  • Parrish

    Right, except for it’s NOTING AT ALL like 99% of cougars. The term you are looking for is “gold diggers”, and it actually has nothing to do with this article. Educate yourself young buck so you don’t sound like somebody who could be taken to the cleaners quite so easily.

  • TBRK

    story is simply too slanted and malicious to take 100% at face value…none of the quotes seem to be cited properly….I’d like to hear the father have a rebuttal to this

  • Mike

    Too bad he didnt see GLORIA JAMES first

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    And the wack story of the day award goes to…

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez


  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    @twitter-42100757:disqus @disqus_rOeXXBD2qs:disqus @facebook-100001749589586:disqus these type of mess happens often in football. some QBs are breed to be QBs

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez


  • Redd

    Can say that again wtf is wrong with people.


    that wouldve been f up. super lebron james

  • Peter Walsh

    Get your money, playa.

  • Hingle McCringleberry

    Always knew he was older than what they said. Look at homie’s hairline. Boy’s gonna be bald as a cue ball in a few.

  • The Philosopher

    Y’all didn’t know?? Aquille Carr is 28 years old…

  • Whoareyou

    I’ve always joked about this kind of thing, I never took it seriously though…looks like someone did..

    As far as the age changing situation goes though…this kinda stuff happens all the time. These are grown ass men by the time they’re sophomores in high school.

  • BurgerKing

    20? Looks more like he’s 30..

  • the_unknown

    For all we know, Shabazz could hate playing basketball.

  • roscoe

    calm down. RRrrrrrrrrrrR!

    if i want to discuss wild animals and their kingdom i can.

    who made u the slam forum hall monitor anyhow?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Nick Tha Quick

    Yet somehow, the age of any African draft prospect is always questioned and ridiculed.

  • initbruv


  • initbruv

    Yeah I had a buddy that had the same thing happen and his dad rode him so hard that he lost his love for the game, dropped out and now has 3 kids, a wife, and a coke/heroin habit to boot…at 25.

  • http://www.sneakertheater.com/ Sneaker Theater

    I know his baby mom’s is 27.

  • fruizm


  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Yup like Todd Marinovich, and he ended up a crackhead.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    But that’s just cuz he’s dumb.

  • http://twitter.com/DPisWill DePaul Williams

    Story is real sad. I am not trying to sound like a hater or anything but I think Shabazz is a bit overrated for all of the hype

  • Mars

    Pretty scary. It’s called natural selection and it happens every day. Looks, money, potential it’s what we all seek. Right?

  • Mars

    For reals?

  • Youngindy21

    His father only did what tons of women do every day. Go after tall athletic guys so their children will be star athletes. I have actually heard women say they want to marry a tall athletic guy so they can raise future NBA players. Why do you think groupies try to get knocked up by these current NBA players?

  • Ugh

    No, that’s me.
    And idiots like you made me do it.

  • Ugh

    No, it’s not natural selection, it’s selection. You’re nearly there, though. Keep trying.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez


  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    yes sir. thoroughbred’s

  • Blakos

    Now we know why Shelden Williams be hunting Candace

  • dr. ratguts

    eugenics and basketball

  • Ktownkid

    Ummm…Didn’t Tiger Woods’ Father basically do the same thing yet no one mentions that

  • kakaboi

    Sounds like a pretty smart guy. I’m still looking for the right host body for my babies.

  • roscoe

    do you know what “idiots” spelled backwards is?

  • Sam Dunn

    I don’t have a problem with this at all. A father was proactive and made sure that his son received the best training possible and had the best opportunities, and now his son will be a multi-millionaire and set for life. What a horrible person this man is!

  • Sam Dunn

    How is it not natural selection? Because a human being did it instead of an ape?

  • danpowers


  • z

    Child support. Thousands of dollars a month in child support. Its really that simple.

  • doomgloom

    What are you talking about? Natural selection is simply a theory that states nature weeds out the weak and that the strongest of any species survives. It isn’t species-specific.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    You giving gold diggers too much credit. All they’re looking at is dollar signs. If they could get a dude to marry them they’d be fine with that, but a baby is guaranteed Mk money.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Yes, what’s wrong with marrying a woman under false pretenses and lying about your sons age so he can have an edge on the competition? Pretty noble if you ask me.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Where did you read that? I don’t understand what all this fuss is about. Me marrying a teacher in the hopes that my future kids excel in school isn’t much different. Furthermore with his Tourette’s syndrom it’s not that hard to see that he might have been left behind very early on, and that the father shaved a year of his age for future athletic eligibility reasons. This article is of a similar sensationalist nature as the crap Richard Williams was subjected too.

  • Sam Dunn

    Actually, having just read the article, I’d say that that’s probably the most noble of his pursuits. Ron Holmes doesn’t seem like a good guy.

  • makoface

    i dont mind the genetic selection thing- we all do that subconsciously on some sort of level. what i do mind is that he enrolled his son to compete against kids a year younger. at that age- a year is alot. i rememeber being 14 and playing 15 year olds- and they were seemingly twice as strong. things even out- but at that age- the scale is very uneven.
    I was a mediocre representative level basketball player at 15, but if i had played 14 year olds, shit I would have been all-state, I’m dead serious. scrimmaging against 14 year olds was piss easy- and 16 year olds hard as. Of course great players are great players- the great ones are able to compete with men as boys. and shabazz is one of those guys. but still-
    bigger better kids get more attention , better coaching, better opportunities. malcolm gladwell writes about it well in outliers- how most hockey players are the oldest ones of their year way back from their school days. to give his son that kind of advantage is cheating. The bigger problem though- is how success breeds respect- despte its means- the article is almost admiring in its tone towards the father- that all the cheating is to be rewarded with millions of dollars, so it s a story of achievement and determination- not blatant cheating. If you get to the goal , in the end, it dosent matter how. Sucks that people see it this way more than not these days. And of course anybody that disagrees is a hater- or resentful towards successful people.

  • makoface

    speakng of the breeding thing- its just a fact of african american sporting culture. being an athlete is passed on like a trade nowadays, and theres nothing wrong with that. Im sure the wife was just as interested , being an athlete herself. But it dosent always work and the pressure is bullsht. look at jordans kids- imagine the pressure on those dudes every day in the playground. of course daddy probably bought them their own playground, but anyway. Speaking of which , i think Jordan and lisa leslie, for the sake of basetball fans everywhere- need to breed a child, its their duty to mankind. or lebron and holdsclaw, shaq and serena. Can you imagine?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    It sounds like people are blowing this way out of proportion… I mean, it was probably a joke when he said “We’re going to make some All-Americans.” Nobody says that when they’re what, 20 years old in college? Also, if Shabazz wants to be an athlete, I think it’s great that his dad knows how to work the system to his benefit, unlikely the vast majority of kids who get screwed by the NCAA.

  • Chukaz

    “he’s actually 20 years old, not 19 as officially stated by UCLA. This could have major implications at the NBA Draft”
    WTF? This could have MAJOR implications? Do they think he’ll drop to the 2nd round cuz he’s only younger than 50% of the players he played against? It’s not like a GM’s gonna go “we were thinking of taking him at #5, but turns out the dude’s 20. Are you kidding me? We’re not gonna draft someone who’s already 7 years away from his prime. 8 years is ideal. 7 is not enough”

  • The Philosopher

    Nah… I don’t think so, anyway.

  • joe king

    guy sounds like a dick trying to gain fame off of his son’s success

  • tre

    You are both stupid and uninformed. Being black has nothing to do with it. Other races do it just as much with sports, moron. The subtle, slavery link racism in your assertion that blacks selectively breed as a tradition is false. What proof do you have other than this “article”? Where is your research to back up your fake facts? I want to know how your ignorant ass came up with the idea that this is exclusively a black issue. You are a dumb ass, and should refrain from posting until you gain some intelligence. And stop liking your own comments. You know no one else liked that stupid shit.

  • shockexchange

    Shaving a year off a kid’s age is beyond outrageous. However, the other parts of the story where a kid showcases his talents on a summer circuit, purposely picks a school where he can shine, or always shows himself in the best light is par for the course.
    As far as the age thing, most of the top HS players in the country have been left back on purpose to give the “illusion” that they are more dominant than they really. I would bet money that if you took the current list of McDonald’s All-Americans and tried to list their birthdate alongside their name, height, weight and class, there would be a revolt.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    He lied about his sons age, since at least middle school in order to get him where he wanted to go. I don’t see how any of the rest of the story seems far fetched, or overblown. This is disgusting, imo. There is no way to get me to change that opinion. If you have to change something about your child’s life just to get what you want, you deserve no benefit of the doubt.

  • bill

    Sounds like he lost his love for life in general.

  • Mike From Spain

    I read some comments that this year difference in age makes a big difference to potential upside. Makes sense, that is why among players with the same producttion but different ages, the youngest gets drafted higher. I saw some analysts saying Shabazz’s stock fell to late first round.