What do you do when you aren’t known, have no access to gyms, and have no private trainers? How do you compete with those who have what you don’t?
Fareed Allim chose to grind until he had what they did.
While growing up in a Nigerian household, basketball was there, but it was never a priority. Allim began his basketball journey at the age of six, but not playing organized basketball, just attending practices with his older siblings and playing around in the neighborhood.
“I didn’t really play for a school team; I didn’t have one.” said Allim. “It was more or less like being at the park with my older brothers and stuff, just playing until it was dark outside until we were told to go back inside.”
According to Allim, it wasn’t until middle school that he joined his first team and got a taste of organized basketball.
“It was new to me, more like a professional kind of basketball instead of the park. Fouls were counted and you got free throws if you were fouled. It was a great learning experience,” he said.
Once Allim got a taste of organized basketball he knew this is what he wanted to do. Thus, he began playing every day and every night. However, before organized ball and regular gym access, Allim said it was difficult to track his skills progress because playing outside only meant he had to contend with weather, and waiting on broken basketball goals being replaced.
However, once Allim had regular indoor hooping access, both he and others began to see tangible growth in his game. And once his skills began to develop, he was asked to play for Dream Elite, an AAU program that traveled playing elite competition in various states.
“We were playing against people from like all over the country. It was a nice experience seeing that basketball was really big everywhere and there’s a lot of people that want what you want,” said Allim.
Because of his hard work and dedication to his craft, Allim made the varsity team his sophomore year, making an impact immediately.
Head coach Robert Maxey echoes the hard work that Allim has put into his game.
“He’s up every morning at seven o’clock in the gym for about an hour getting shots up and staying late getting shots up afterward,” shared Maxey.
It’s no secret that Allim is locked in on improving his craft, but did I mention he is only 16? That’s right, Allim doesn’t turn 17 until April 9, making it all the more impressive that as a “youngster” his dedication to both basketball and his education is impeccable.
When asked about graduating at a young age, Allim reflected on words from his mother and father.
“My parents used to always tell me being a student comes first. Everybody knows if those grades aren’t right, you can’t be the athlete that you want to be. You won’t be able to play. Always make sure you’re on top of your grades, doing the best you can in class, getting in the extra work, going to tutorials, staying back asking for help, doing all the extra credit you can get.
“My parents always built that around me. Being in a Nigerian household, that’s the mindset. Once you have that, it just opens up your opportunity for everything that you want to do.”
Allim will be graduating in May and although he hasn’t committed to a college, Allim would like to continue playing basketball while majoring in business.
Measurements: 6’5” 165lbs
Players he studies: Gabriel Alvarez (Heights HS), Tramon Mark (University of Houston), Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns)
Favorite Artist: G Herbo
Favorite Subject in School: Math
Shoutouts: Family, Coaches, Teammates