" God gave me the gift to play this game."

"I just want to thank my mom for always being there for me and I want to thank my dad for pushing me and supporting me."





gPrep: You finally made your decision. Did you feel any pressure?

EH: "I’ve been having a lot of pressure and I am happy to finally get this pressure off me. All these colleges, I am glad I finally picked the one that I like. I can relax now and focus on my work.”

gPrep: Why did you choose the University at Buffalo?

EH: “It just felt right, and I went for what felt right. A lot of pressure was on me because Buffalo told me that I was their #1 recruit. Other people were behind me. So, I needed to make my decision.”

gPrep: Is the pressure off?

EH: “Yes! Now, I can play my game, relax and focus on my school work. My school work is important because what if I get hurt? You need that book work to fall back on. You don’t want to mess that up.”

gPrep: Do you feel you made the right decision?

EH: “I am pretty sure I made the right decision. I just hope that this all works.”

gPrep: Did you feel nervous about going so far?

EH: “Kind of, but I kinda do want to go far and I kinda don’t. We just have to see.”

gPrep: What were some of the other colleges that were on your short list?

EH: “Columbia, DePaul, Road Island, North Dakota, a lot of small colleges.”

gPrep: You won a state championship as a freshman playing for Minneapolis North. Winning has always been a part of your game. What are you looking for in your all-important senior year?

EH: “It was North’s third consecutive time and it was my first state championship ever. And when I went to state this year against Central, it was my second time.”

gPrep: You are well decorated in your accomplishments, state championship, AAU championships, All-Metro, All-Tournament, All-Conference, just to name a few. Talk about the work you have to put in... to get to your level.

EH: “I've been working really hard, not taking things for granted, trying to do as much as I can to get better, and to not hold back. If you hold back then you are not going to get to where you want to be. So, I am trying real hard to make it and try to be the best.”

gPrep: What are your goals for this coming season?

EH: “Basketball, I want to improve my assists, my scoring, my everything.  I just want to make everything better than it was last year with our team. Our team looks pretty good this year. We should be pretty good. We are going all the way to state, no doubt."

gPrep: What will a state championship mean to you in your senior year?

EH: “That will be really great, winning a state championship in my senior year, right before I leave. That will be great. Then, I will know that I can do it my freshmen year and my senior year. I will be very happy.”

gPrep: What does your high school Minneapolis South mean to you?

EH:  “The school means a lot to me.The teachers help me with my school work. Coach Ahmil, he helps me. If I have a lot of home work, he lets me do my homework first and then come back to practice if I need to. He is a supportive coach, and I am really happy for him and the support that he gives me. Coach Ahmil, you can tell that he cares for us. Because if he didn’t, he wouldn't be with us. The school has just shown me so much support. And the fans, they are great.”

gPrep: What’s your favorite food?

EH:  “Chinese food but I really love Chipotle.”

gPrep: What is your favorite type of music?

EH:  “Rap, R&B, I like gospel too.”

gPrep: Speaking of gospel, your mom was big in the church. She was always at the games watching you and giving you inspiration. Your mom is not with you now, but I am sure she is looking down smiling.

EH: “Yes, she is. I have dreams sometimes that I am with her, and that I am talking to her, and that we are talking about a lot of things. I just wish that she was here with me to help make my decision to go to New York. It would have been a better feeling to make the decision with my mom, if she were here. But, I know that she is watching me and that she is still with me. It’s just like she is still here with me.”

gPrep: I am sure you remember seeing her at all the South games.

EH:  “Yea, I do. Last year I would always look in the stands for her, but I know she wasn’t there. But, I would still always look for her. You know because she was at all my games ever since I was young. And, I just miss her being at my games.”

gPrep: She must really be proud.

EH: “Yes. She’s got to be proud because I am trying my best to do my best with school and with basketball.”

gPrep: What does basketball mean to you?

EH: “Well, basketball is my game. It’s a gift. God gave me the gift to play this game. If it weren't for him, I wouldn’t have this talent that I have. I think it’s a gift from God that I can play basketball. I love basketball. One reason why I am going to this Division One college and getting everything paid for is because of this round ball. I respect this game a lot . I take it seriously sometimes, but it’s always good to remember to have fun and not take it so seriously. Because if you are not having fun, why are you playing? It’s always good to have fun with the sports that you play.”

gPrep: What has your AAU Coach Paul Hill meant to you?

EH: “One day my dad asked me if I wanted to play basketball. I said yes. So, I went to play with Paul. I’ve been playing with him ever since the 4th grade, with the NC Heat. Coach Hill has meant a lot to me. And that’s the only AAU team, I’ve ever played for. We won a lot of AAU state championships with NC Heat.”

gPrep: Did you get noticed playing for South or playing AAU ball with the NC Heat?

EH:  “I got noticed more probably at AAU. Because when we played, there were college coaches almost at every tournament that we played. At South , I think it’s more of,  I really don’t know how to say it but, you know Tayler Hill is here with me, so we have to share the stage. For her being younger than me, I think she gets more recognition because of her skills and how good she is. I think I would get more recognition in AAU. I started to get recognition last year when I stepped-up my game. I am hoping and willing to step-up my game this year.”

gPrep: You really stepped-up last year in the state tournament. You proved you were a clutch player with your performance scoring 32 against Champlin Park in the semi-finals and then 21 in the championship game.


EH:  “Yea, I am just trying to do it for my team. I know we all wanted to beat Central. I was just trying my best not to go out weak and still play strong to the end."

gPrep: Why do you think other coaches and players like you so much? How does it feel to be a role model?

EH: “It feels really good to be the person that people look up to. Because, I want to be a great person to people, to show them that you can do things in life. All you got to do is work hard at it. I am glad that I am a role model to young people. I just want to show them the right way and to do it the good way, to be a student first, then an athlete. Because, you always want to hit the books before you play.”

gPrep: Anything else you want to say?

EH: “I just want to thank my mom for always being there for me. I want to thank my dad for pushing me and supporting me. I want to thank all my coaches, Coach Paul Hill and Coach Ahmil Jihad. I want to thank all of them. I want to thank my friends for supporting me too and my brother.”

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