Former NBA Star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and NCAA Women’s College Basketball star Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir will be coming to give a critical talk on February 15th, 2015, at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms (located on the second floor). This is a collaborative program by the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research, The WVU Muslim Students Association, and the Islamic Center of Morgantown.
The program entitled The Full Court Press: Dribbling Through the Barriers with Faith is part of the sports theme of the annual LAMP (Leading Afro-American Muslim Professionals) Speaker Series, which is continuing for its 5th year. LAMP intends to create an educational environment in yielding awareness on Islam; fostering peace in the world, sharing an accurate understanding of Islam, and promoting its real image through practicing Muslims. Mahmoud and Bilqis are role models that continue to inspire and positively impact Americans and people across the world with their unique stories.
Mahmoud was a 1st round draft pick (1990 NBA Draft) out of LSU (3rd overall pick) to the Denver Nuggets and played during the Michael Jordan era of the flashy Chicago Bulls. While the Bulls were streaky hot in 1996, the team caught Mahmoud at the wrong time as he delivered 32 points on the night and one of his best career games against Michael “Air” Jordan for a Nuggets victory which snapped the Bulls 18 game winning streak record https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiCpet86WRQ . He holds various basketball records at LSU, ranked with one of the highest NBA free throw percentages (behind Steve Nash), played in the 1993 NBA Slam Dunk contest, won the 1992 Most Improved NBA Player Award, and is regarded as one of the purest shooters and fastest players in league history by many sports analysts and basketball players. His experiences of living with and battling Tourrete’s Syndrome, growing up in an impoverished area of Mississippi, and having his NBA career hindered due to spiritual decisions continues to empower him and others through his life work.
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is the founder of Muslim Girls Hoop Too and was a star basketball player at Indiana State University, Memphis State University, and a legend in the state of Massachusetts. She holds the state scoring record in Massachusetts, selected captain for her college teams, and garnered various college basketball accolades. During the 2011 NCAA Final Four Tournament, Bilqis was honored with the “Most Courageous Award.” Her outstanding accomplishments led her to become a special invited guest of President Obama, The First Lady Michelle Obama, and the White House. In addition, she was recently featured on the ESPN program Outside The Lines https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXuSgew8_c8&feature=youtu.be
She is famously known for being the first female player to fully cover herself according to Islamic standards during basketball competition which stopped her from playing at the professional level. The FIBA commission ruled her Islamic dress standards to be prohibited. While she continues to challenge the rules to pursue professional basketball, her passion for the sport is flourishing in her role as the athletic director at Pleasant View School.