Shabazz Muhammad’s Father Catfished Us All

There are two types of extremes on the dad spectrum. There are the Jimmy Walker types, who lose all contact with their offspring before they find out the sex.  

Then, there are the helicopter dads, who hover over thier children from the womb to the tomb. Shabazz Muhammad's father, Ron Holmes represents the other side of that coin. While he appears to be a good dad, Holmes got a little too eager to mold his son into a superstar guard. An L.A. Times report published on Friday sheds light on the influence Muhammad's father has had on his career.

In the early 1980s, Holmes was a 6-foot-5 standout guard for USC. He never made it to the pros. But he was already thinking far into the future.


As a student, Holmes said, he found himself fascinated by the careful breeding of thoroughbreds, the way that two fast, powerful horses could be crossed to create an even faster, more powerful colt.


Around that time he met Faye Paige, a point guard, sprinter and hurdler at Cal State Long Beach. Spotting her at a summer league game, Holmes recalled saying to a friend: "See that No. 10? She's going to be my wife, and we're going to make some All-Americans."


A few years later, the couple converted to Islam and changed their names. Paige became Faye Muhammad; Holmes tried several handles, including Ronald Muhammad, Ron Shabazz and Rashad Muhammad.


Today, he goes by Ron Holmes because, he said, he never finished his formal religious conversion.  

Besides that proclamation being one of the great “called shots” in hookup history, it’s also a sneak peek into his mindset. It sounds like Holmes was a respectable college basketball player, but by living vicariously through Muhammad he's finally getting a slice of the NBA life he always craved.


However, in addition to taking an active role in Muhammad’s development as a hoops prospect, Holmes also fudged Muhammad’s age. While he’s been widely reported as a 19-year-old, apparently we should have been checking his I.D. at the door. Muhammad is actually 20 years old.

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.

Although, it may seem like a minor deception, that extra year could have some effect on his draft stock or how scouts view his ceiling. While Muhammad was once considered the top prospect, the UCLA freshman has been upstaged by wing prospects such as Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Kansas' Ben McLemore.

Overall, Muhammad’s freshman year at UCLA has not gone according to his father's 20-year plan. Muhammad was the subject of an NCAA conspiracy investigation into his eligibility, and was criticized for his selfish reaction to Larry Drew III ignoring him and draining a buzzer-beater against Washington on his own. More eyeballs than ever will be scrutinizing him when UCLA faces off with Minnesota in hwat may be his final college game. How he responds to this revelation going public during the wildest month in college hoops will speak to his mental toughness. Muhammad will be a lottery pick, but once he hits the league he'll have to tell pops to step back become his own man.


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