No, we just can’t make this stuff up, but it looks like Shabazz Muhammad’s dad absolutely can. Muhammad waltzed onto the UCLA campus prior to the 2012-13 season as the top-rated high school basketball player in the country. However, according to the LA Times, this should be Muhammad’s second year on campus.
Because he was born on November 13, 1992, not November 13, 1993 as his father wanted the world to believe.
According to the UCLA men’s basketball media guide, he was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 13, 1993.
But a copy of Shabazz Nagee Muhammad’s birth certificate on file with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shows that he was born at Long Beach Memorial Hospital exactly one year earlier, making him 20 years old — not 19 as widely reported.
Obviously, maturing a year earlier than his perceived peers would give Ron Holmes’ son a decided advantage.
How and when he lost a year of his life are unclear. But competing against younger, smaller athletes, particularly in the fast-growing years of early adolescence, can be “a huge edge,” said Eddie Bonine, executive director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Assn. “People naturally look at the big, strong kids.”
Asked about the discrepancy, Holmes insisted his son was 19 and born in Nevada. “It must be a mistake,” he said.
Several minutes later, he changed his account, saying that his son is, in fact, 20 and was born in Long Beach.
But wait, it gets even better. Ron Holmes played guard for USC back in the day. As soon as Muhammad was born, Holmes understood what it would take to breed his son to be an NBA millionaire, and he proved that he would be willing to do anything to make it happen.
That includes attempting to co-opt the man initially discovered the discrepancy in his son’s age, Ken Bensinger.
Holmes expressed concern about disclosure of his son’s true age and his own criminal record and questioned whether either was newsworthy. He followed up with a text message.
“Bazz is going to blow up in the NBA lets team up and blow this thing up!!!” Holmes wrote to Bensinger. “I’m going to need a publicist anyway why shouldn’t it be you. We can do some big things together.”
There seem to be more and more stories every day of parents living vicariously through their children.
However, outside of the Danny Almonte scandal (the young man was a 14-year old pitching against 12-year olds in the Little League World Series) there has not been nearly as high-profile of a case of straight up lying about a young man’s age in a blatant effort to make millions off the sweat of a boy/son/young man until now.
The most interesting part of all of this?
The fact that Muhammad is going to reward his father’s lying, cheating, and drive to push his son harder than Holmes never pushed himself.
And they don’t even share the same name.