Minor league basketball in North America is about as unorganized as any “major” sport. The NBA D-League is now established as the top stop before the league. Outside the D-League there are dozens of regional leagues, some more professional than others.
North of the border the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) is currently playing its sixth season with ten teams. It has grown from the original seven teams in 2011 to now include teams from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.
A new Canadian league was first formed in 2014 by former Toronto Raptors coach Butch Carter. The Canadian Basketball League opened its first season in November 2016 with four teams, all based in Ontario.
One player who has made the trek north is Mohamed A. Mohamed, a 2011 graduate of Minneapolis South High School. Mohamed was signed after attending a pro exposure camp in November and plays with Hamilton United Basketball Club. After ten games played the versatile forward is averaging 5.8 points and 1.4 rebounds a game.
The road to the CBL has been a process for Mohamed who spent two years playing JUCO basketball with North Iowa Area CC. He then transferred to NCAA Division II school UW-Parkside competing in one of the top conferences in the nation. Three of his college teammates are currently playing professionally in Europe.
Two years and 60 games played at UWP helped his game grow to what he now hopes will lead to a career. At 6’6″ and 205-pounds the swingman has the size and frame to play several positions. So far this season Mohamed has shown the ability to shoot the three on occasion as well. He scored a season-high 12 points on January 21 against Scarborough.
His coach, Indiana native Mark Anderson, has taken his own unique path in the world of coaching. From 1997 to 2002 Anderson guided the University of Akron Wayne College before moving on to Cuyahoga Community College where he won the NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2004. Minor league stints in the UBA, OVBL and PBL preceded his job in Hamilton.
Anderson has high praise for Mohamed saying, “Mohamed is one of the guys you love to have on a team! He comes to learn everyday! He’s a team guy and everyone enjoys being around him. He does what I ask in practice and in games. Off the court he’s one of our best community players whether it’s going to mini-ballers or to a soup kitchen.”
Hamilton United won their most recent game on February 17 over Durham United 97-83. With just four games remaining in the CBL regular season the team has its sights set on the CBL Cup.
FINAL: @CBLHamilton 97, @Durham_United 83. Hamilton wins third straight game vs Durham. #CBL
— Canadian Basketball (@CBL_Canada) February 18, 2017
Mohamed is excited about his team and looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“We’re definitely coming together now. We had some bumps early on in the season, but we got all the pieces now so hopefully we can keep that going.”
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