By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
Is there a better guard combination in Class A than W.D. Mohammad’s Muhammad Hamilton and Nigel Blake?
Caliphs’ head coach Farad Abdur-Rahman doesn’t think so. Hamilton, a senior who has committed to Tuskegee, was already a known commodity in Class A and beyond as one of the state’s top complete guards. But Blake, a freshman, is beginning to make a name for himself as well. The two are combining to score 48 points per game with the 5-foot-11 Hamilton averaging 25 and Blake, 5-8, averaging 23.
“[Blake] can flat out play,” Rahman said. “He wasn’t with us over the summer, but he has come in since school started and has fit right in. You should see these two go to work.”
Abdur-Rahman said Blake has allowed Hamilton, an all-state selection last season, to showcase even more of his game because now he can play off of the ball, while Blake handles the point guard duties. This, Abdur-Rahman said, makes the Caliphs a better team this season. W.D. Mohammed went 22-3 last season and advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to eventual private school runner-up St. Francis (80-56).
“Last year we didn’t have anyone who could allow Muhammad to play off the ball,” Abdur-Rahman said. “This year he’s able to do more things and display his whole game. He’s been rebounding really well this season.”
Indeed, Hamilton is averaging 10 assists and 5 rebounds per game, and will be a great addition to the program at Tuskegee next season, Abdur-Rahman said. Even though Hamilton was beginning to draw serious interest from several mid-major Division I programs, Tuskegee, a Division II program, felt like a better fit.
“[Tuskegee head coach Leon] Douglas is an NBA veteran and a man of great integrity,” Abdur-Rahman said. “He cares about his players and they graduate. There are only about  NBA slots, and six million kids trying to get one of those slots, chasing that dream. This is about the bigger picture, and from that perspective I think [Muhammad] made a very wise decision.”
So, is Coach Abdur-Rahman right? Is his backcourt the best in Class A? If not, tell us the duo you think is better. And feel free to nominate a tandem from the girls’ game as well.
“Other” Greenforest freshman
The group of freshmen at defending private school champion Greenforest Academy – Luis Hurtado, Victor Enoh, Abayomi “Bay” Iyiola and Ikechukwu “Ikey” Obiagu – has already created a buzz around the state. But there is another freshman turning heads.
Lyndsey Whilby, a 6-foot guard/forward has the Eagles off to a 5-3 start and is the team’s leading scorer at 20 points per game. She has stepped in to fill the scoring void left by the graduation of the dynamic Moses Johnson, now a freshman at Chattanooga.
North Cobb Christian in action
North Cobb Christian is off to another hot start at 8-1, with the only loss coming at the hands of Class AAAAA Tucker (67-60) in the season opener Nov. 23. The Eagles will face another one of the state’s best teams on Saturday in the Southeast Basketball Academy Hoop Festival, when they battle defending Class AA champion Greater Atlanta Christian in the final game of the night at 8:30 p.m.