Ahamed Mohamed's epic scoring performances push Apollo basketball into 5A contention

·4 min read
Apollo guard Ahamed Mohamed has been on a scoring binge, including a 61-point performance, in his last three games.
Apollo guard Ahamed Mohamed has been on a scoring binge, including a 61-point performance, in his last three games.

Ahamed Mohamed can't stop smiling. It's his general enjoyment he has for life. And on the basketball court, where the Glendale Apollo senior guard can't stop scoring.

In his last three games, all wins, Mohamed has tallied 61, 30 and 39 points, elevating him into one of the elite boys high school basketball players in Arizona.

The 61 points he scored Jan. 7 in a 98-41 win over Gilbert Williams Field is a school record by 10 points and it puts Mohamed in rarified air as one of only 10 players in Arizona high school history to score at least 60 points in a game.

He made 26 of 36 shots, 5 of 9 3-pointers and 4 of 6 free throws.

"I had no clue I was going for 61," Mohamed said. "Everything was going in. It felt good. My teammates were giving me the ball. It felt good. It was just a wonderful night. It was amazing."

What he's been doing lately has put Apollo in contention for a 5A title. The Hawks have won 10 of their last 12 games with the losses coming by one point to top-ranked Gilbert and by eight points to Gilbert Higley.

Mohamed led Apollo to a 60-41 rout of Glendale Ironwood, a game in which he was held to 26 points. He had 30 points in a 66-49 rout of Peoria Centennial, last year's state runnerup team. And on Thursday, in an 85-62 rout of Peoria Sunrise Mountain, he had 39 points, ending Sunrise Mountain's 16-game win streak.

"He's kind of a lone ranger," Apollo coach Jacob Marin said. "We started him as a freshman. There were some games he struggled, because he was small. But he always had the competitiveness. He just got exponentially better every year."

It has helped growing up in a highly competitive household of athletes.

Ahamed is the fourth of five brothers raised by Sudan refugees. Ahamed and younger brother Adam, an All-Arizona running back in football as a sophomore this season, are teammates on the basketball team.

Adam is a defensive stopper, while Ahamed is the scorer.

They were old enough to remember their father Adlan who died six years ago at age 48. He was a big figure in the family, creating a culture of hard work, discipline and enjoyment.

After he died, their mother, Hawa Khamis, who speaks little English, took over the roles of both father and mother, raising her children.

"I got to know the father the first couple of years I was here," Marin said. "He was a very humble guy. He had a lot of pride in his kids, did a lot for kids. That was a tight-knit family. That was a tough deal.

"The mom is an amazingly strong lady."

The Mohamed brothers use their father's passion for life to fuel them every day.

Three years ago, Ali Mohamed was a star running back for Apollo. He now is in his third year of college football at Minot State in North Dakota, where in 2019, he was named the NSIC Newcomer of the Year.

Apollo High School sophomore Adam Mohamed runs on the court during a basketball game against Centennial High School at Apollo High School in Glendale on Jan. 10, 2022.
Apollo High School sophomore Adam Mohamed runs on the court during a basketball game against Centennial High School at Apollo High School in Glendale on Jan. 10, 2022.

Sabir, now 30, is the oldest brother who competed in cross country and basketball at Apollo.

Mohamed Mohamed was mostly a football player who was a walk-on wide receiver at the University of Arizona.

As talented as Ahamed is, averaging 27 points, Marin believes Adam could wind up the best athlete in the family.

Adam says he wants to better than Ali in football.

"I want to play at the next level," Adam said.

Sometimes, during basketball practices Adam is guarding Ahamed.

"Since we were young, we've been counting the years," Ahamed said about teaming up with Adam. "I can't wait to be on the court with the little one. I'm excited to be the court with him.

Adam is 5-foot-10 with several gears, able to make sharp cutback moves that separates him from most on the football field.

The brothers joke with each other.

When asked if Adam challenges him in practice, Ahamed smiles and says, "Not really."

So far there have been few challenges to stand in Ahamed's way as he makes his senior season one for the record books.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Apollo basketball fueled by Ahamed Mohamed's epic scoring performances

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