(WTNH)–This one’s for all of us Huskies fans who remember the 1999 national title.
Us fans who may have dove on the couch in celebration when they “upset” the most overrated team ever (Duke) to win it all. Those of us who remember a pudgy, delightful, spunky kid named Khalid El-Amin speaking to the basketball public through the CBS cameras and proclaiming “We Shocked the World!” as his teammates sang DMX’s “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” behind him.
If you’re one of those fans, you’re going to feel old now.
That’s because Khalid El-Amin, at that time a 19-year old picture of youth, now has a son who is almost ready to crash the college basketball scene.
Ishmael El-Amin is a sophomore at Hopkins High School in Minnesota, and according to SLAM Magazine, “he’s already begun to establish himself as one of Minnesota’s best prospects in the class of 2017.”
El-Amin played up an age level in Milwaukee’s Swish ‘N Dish AAU tournament earlier this month, competing on a 17-year old team. He afforded himself well, scoring 22 points and leading his “Net Gain” team to the semifinals of the tournament. The young El-Amin has already drawn attention from Division 1 schools, and according to an October 2014 article on ScoutHoops.com, UConn was one of them.
“It is an honor to hear from them,” Ishmael told ScoutHoops. “I have visited the campus a few times with my dad, and I loved everything about them. Coach Ollie has been great.”
In a later article, ScoutHoops.com described him as “a lock high-major player going forward.”
Unlike his father, Ishmael is a lanky 6-1. Performances like the one he put together in the Milwaukee tournament have helped him gain recognition for his shooting ability, and coaches love his “feel for the game,” which shouldn’t surprise anyone who watched his father play. Check out this highlight video of him on YouTube:
“I feel like my jump shot has developed a lot,” El-Amin told SLAM. “I improved it a lot, and I’m more confident when I pull up. I was born into the point guard position, but I feel like I’m a combo guard now because I’m lengthy. I think I can play the one and two.”
He also said that he doesn’t mind comparisons to his father.
“I embrace it, but I’m trying to build my own story,” he said. “He has his, but I’m me and I’m a totally different player than he was.”
“I watch his college games all the time. I like watching him play. I like to see what he’s got, and what I know I have. He’s a floor leader and controls everything. He’s always talking no matter if he’s winning or losing, so just being a leader on the floor is my favorite part of his game.”
At age 36, Khalid is the only member of the ’99 national championship team still playing professionally. He currently suits up for BG Gottingen of Germany, his 11th different European squad since his cup of coffee with the Chicago Bulls went dry in 2001.
By the time Ishmael does hit the floor on a college campus somewhere, his father will probably be there to watch. By then, he’ll be 39, and quadragenarian point guards aren’t exactly a flourishing breed, no matter what country they’re playing in.
Not to make you feel old, but you know…we’re getting up there.
In addition to UConn, Ishmael told SLAM that Providence, Stanford, Oregon, Miami (FL) and Wisconsin have shown interest.
We’ll keep you posted.