The Chicago native was named MVP in leading CSU Asesoft Ploiesti to its third straight Romanian LNB championship. Mohammed scored 27 points in last week's championship-clinching victory, which carried Ploiesti to its 10th league title since 2004.
"Everything I do, all the hard work is for my friends who didn't make it in Uptown," Mohammed said via cellphone from Ploiesti, which is about 45 minutes north of Romania's capital, Bucharest. "It's a dark cloud over Uptown. The sun shines on only a few people."
For his first two high school years, Mohammed attended Kenwood Academy — where his older brother, Bulls center Nazr Mohammed, had honed his skills. After not receiving playing time, Mohammed said he transferred to Senn High School but left after one day because "I knew I would end up on the streets if I stayed there."
"My first day of class, some of my friends were like, 'Let's leave, let's leave,' so I knew I had to get out of there," said Mohammed, 32, who would graduate from suburban Hillcrest High School.
He's played overseas the last 10 years, including stops in Spain, France, German, Iran, Kuwait and the Netherlands. For the last two, he's been in Romania.
In the next few days, he's returning to Uptown, where two of his sisters and several friends still live. He'll also be heading back to Louisville, where he'll be training for his next potential club, either in Romania or elsewhere.
He credited Uptown for "basically making me who I am."
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