Muhammad, West Have More Basketball Left

May 5, 2006

ATLANTA - Continuing their efforts to remain competitive off the court as well as on, Georgia Tech basketball players Isma'il Muhammad and Mario West each will receive their bachelor's degrees in Management Saturday during Tech commencement exercises at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

West, a 6-4 senior from Douglasville, Ga., who has finished his degree requirements in four years, still has one year of basketball eligibility remaining. He plans to work graduate internships, for which he can receive credit, while he completes his basketball career at Tech and decides on a career choice. A Dean's List student, West will be the first graduate still playing basketball for Tech since Jon Babul in 2000-01.

"I'm going to try getting some internships and finish out my career," said West. "I have one this summer with the state government."

Muhammad, from Atlanta, was a major contributor both off the bench and as a starter from 2001-05. His attempt to play basketball in Europe this past year was derailed by a flare-up of tendonitis in his knee, and used the time to complete his course work. The 6-6 forward continues to rehab and strengthen his knee in the hopes of making another attempt to play somewhere next year.

While their academic careers at Tech come to a close, three other 2005 seniors will resume their quest for degrees this summer. B.J. Elder, who played pro basketball in Germany this year, Anthony McHenry, who played in Great Britain, and Luke Schenscher, who is in the NBA playoffs with the Chicago Bulls, have all enrolled for summer classes.

Schenscher, who was signed by the Bulls on Mar. 5, played 20 regular season games and has made three appearances in the team's first-round playoff series against Miami. He has just one class remaining to complete his degree requirements in Management.

Elder averaged 12.9 points a game for Giessen, while McHenry averaged 12 points a game for Leicester, which went 40-18 under former Tech guard Karl Brown and finished sixth in the British Basketball League.

OTHER TECH ALUMNI NEWS

* Will Bynum, the 6-0 guard whose clutch play propelled the Yellow Jackets to a chance for the national title in 2004, followed the same route as Schenscher this year, playing the majority of the season in the National Basketball Developmental League after signing a free agent contract with Boston, was signed for the final 15 games of the NBA season by Golden State, where he averaged 3.6 points a game. He had been the NBDL's leading scorer until then at 24.0 points per game.

* Jarrett Jack started just four of 79 games, but averaged more than 20 minutes a game for the Portland Trail Blazers during his rookie year. The Fort Washington, Md., native averaged 6.7 points and 2.8 assists, and shot 44.2 percent from the floor.

* Chris Bosh had his best season yet for the Toronto Raptors, averaging 22.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 70 games. The 6-10 forward also established career highs in field goal shooting (50.5 percent) and free throw shooting (81.6 percent). In three NBA seasons, Bosh has averaged 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

* Stephon Marbury averaged 16.3 points and 6.4 assists in 60 games this year for the New York Knicks. In 10 NBA seasons, the former Tech point guard (1995-96) has averaged 20.2 points and 8.1 assists.

* Matt Harpring averaged 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 71 games for the Utah Jazz this year. The 6-7 forward, who played at Tech from 1994-98 and remains the second-leading scorer in Tech history, has averaged 13.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in eight NBA seasons.