Former Geelong Supercats import Isma’il Muhammad is not giving up on his NBA dream just yet.
The 6’6 swingman and former SEABL Supercats MVP has been signed by the Hawks in his native city of Atlanta for their training camp which begins tomorrow. Muhammad will be competing for one of only two places remaining on the Hawks official NBA roster. The training camp roster of 18 was officially announced a few days ago, but the Hawks today have announced that they have extended the invitation to Muhammad to stretch the training roster to 19.
Having been invited to practice with the team back in September, true to his nature Muhammad has kept pretty quiet about the whole thing until the announcement was made today. “It’s just that my goal wasn’t to get invited. I’ve been invited before, even last year with Charlotte. My goal is to make the team. So while it’s exciting to be in the pre-season camp, it’s not the finish line.”
Isma’il was invited to training camp with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2011, being cut from the squad just days before the shortened lock-out season began. After being released from the Bobcats, Isma’il re-signed with the Geelong Supercats for the 2012 SEABL season, before the chance to play in the NBA summer league meant that he had to withdraw from the long SEABL season.
He signed with the Auckland Pirates in the New Zealand NBL, which was a short season, and alongside former Melbourne Tigers import Ron Dorsey guided them to a NZNBL Championship in May. Upon returning to the USA, Isma’il focused on his game and was hopeful of getting an invitation to the NBA Summer League in July, but was unlucky not to receive one.
In early September he got the call from the Atlanta Hawks to join them in pre-season.
“It was a mixture of relief, gratification and excitement…because I directed all my focus for the past 9 months on getting another opportunity to make the NBA. And the time to get an invite was running out. So to get invited days before camp started was a great feeling.”
“It does make it a little more exciting being at home [in Atlanta]. Especially since they have never shown any interest before, not even when I came out of college [at Georgia Tech].So this was a pleasant surprise.”
Muhammad will begin training camp tomorrow, with the Hawks practicing twice daily on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and once on Thursday and Saturday. The team will then host defending NBA champions Miami Heat in a pre-season game on Sunday October 7th.
The Geelong Supercats would like to wish Isma’il Muhammad the best of luck in training camp with the Atlanta Hawks.