By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
It’s taken Greenwood sophomore Aminu Mohammed just six weeks to become one of the biggest draws in Missouri. The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 36.3 PPG, 17.7 RPG, 2.9 APG and 2.4 SPG, shooting 52 percent from the field as well. He’s a legitimate candidate to win Gatorade Player of the Year in Missouri.
The Blue Jays are off to a historic undefeated start, which includes a win over a Class 4 Rogersville team that returned several key pieces from last year’s 24-win team.
Greenwood will begin its bid for a Blue & Gold Tournament championship this week against fellow unbeaten Stockton. Mohammed talked with Ozarks Sports Zone about his first month of games in Springfield.
JB = Jordan Burton
AM = Aminu Mohammed
JB: Some people may be surprised by how quickly you’ve helped turn Greenwood around. But, this isn’t the first time you’ve helped lead this kind of resurgence. Tell me about your freshman year at Archbishop Carroll. What’s the most important part mentally about turning a program around?
AM: The coaching staff wanted to rebuild the culture of the school and they wanted us as a team to have winning mentality. They also wanted to change the way people looked at the program. The main goal was starting with the players that were there. The coaching staff asked of us to give 100% effort. The commitment and effort of the coaching staff and players is the most important part of turning a program around.
JB: Washington D.C. is known for its unique basketball talent and tradition. You’ve had a chance to play and get acclimated now. How has basketball in Southwest Missouri different than basketball in the DMV?
AM: In the WCAC you might go against a top division one talent every night, the likes of Casey Moresell, Earl Timberlake, Justin Moore, Terrence Williams, Jeremy Roach, Miles Dread, Xavier Johnson, Brandon Slater, Winston Tabbs, Hunter Dickinson, and Anthony Harris. The league and level that we are playing in now, you don’t see that type of talent regularly, but the teams we play are very competitive and play a physical brand of basketball.
JB: What have you heard about the Blue and Gold Tournament? How excited are you to compete in one of Missouri’s most prestigious events?
AM: I have heard that it is a big tournament in Missouri and you get the chance to play some of the best teams regardless of the class you play in. I’m excited for the opportunity for Greenwood to compete in it and have a chance to win it all.
JB: You’ve constantly been working to add things to your game, what’s something you’ve added that you’re pleased with so far? What’s something you’d like to add to your game still?
AM: Something I have added to my game is the perimeter jump shot and I’m pleased with it, but am still working on improving it. I would like to improve my defensive ability and also improve my mental approach to the game.
JB: Beating Rogersville- a Class 4 quarterfinalist from last year that returned three starters – is one of the biggest regular season wins in program history. I don’t think you’ve ever questioned how good you guys could be this season, but does that win make everyone in the program even more confident?
AM: Yes, that win makes everybody more confident. My goal is for Greenwood to have the chance at winning the state championship and bringing the state championship trophy to southwest Missouri.