All-CCAA second team player, Cal State LA first team leader

Robert Huskey/Cal State LA Athletics
Photo courtesy of Robert Huskey/Cal State LA Athletics

Darwin Lopez, Staff Reporter

He sat in his home, relaxing after his final season ended. What seemed like an ordinary day came with a big surprise for Cal State LA guard Fard Muhammad. 

His teammate, Ja’Sean Lewis, came down from upstairs to the living room and said something that seemed random. “Congrats,” he said excitedly. 

Muhammad was confused and replied, “For what?” 

Lewis answered back: “You made the CCAA second team.” 

At that moment, Muhammad recalled smiling  and wore an expression indicative of both joy and surprise, reflecting upon his career.

As a junior, Muhammad received an Honorable Mention award, but now as a senior, he is being recognized as an all-conference player. 

The award is given to 10 players that are selected by the CCAA’s head coaches. Muhammad led the Golden Eagles in points per game (14.6), and in three pointers with 75. He was tenth in scoring in the conference, and fourth in the CCAA in made three-pointers per game (3).

Muhammad’s strong season wasn’t just statistical. It was also the way he led his Cal State LA teammates. 

“Fard was one of the most competitive dudes I’ve stepped on a court with,” said his teammate Bailey Kikuchi. “There was never a practice or game where he lacked focus. Combining that with his skill set is what made him a different beast. He was our natural leader and straight out competitor.” 

Throughout the season, Muhammad was a clear vocal leader. In tight games, the guard would seemingly rally his teammates to battle. 

“That’s just how I was raised. I was just raised… to go 100 percent. At the end of the day, it’s a sport. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t have a positive impact on people, or if you don’t express yourself through the sport,” said Muhammad. “Me being vocal is like me expressing my passion. It’s expressing myself through the game. That’s what makes it more fun.”

Muhammad brings the same mentality he has on the court to real life saying: “Life is just bigger than a sport… if you can’t get through tough times or find a way to dig down when it’s tough on the basketball court, then it’s going to be 100 times harder for you in real life.”  

Despite being a leader for his teammates, Muhammad isn’t afraid to have fun.

“People don’t notice [from] afar, but I’m a super goofy dude. I’m probably the goofiest on the team, like when we just chillin’, I’m very talkative, and I’m the one who never shuts up when it comes to being around [my teammates],” he said. 

The Golden Eagles’ guard also shared how the road trips were some of his favorite memories.

He described how tedious going on a four-game road trip could be, but this year’s Cal State LA team was different. He shared how each of his teammates by themselves could make a long road trip seem fun. 

Muhammad said the trips will be his “favorite part about being in Cal State LA these past two years. [They] have been the most fun experiences I can remember.”

Muhammad reflected on his first time at Cal State LA as a “cultural shock.” 

He was more concerned about getting adjusted to L.A. than getting accustomed to a different style of play on the court. Muhammad alluded to his basketball journey and how much he travelled from his birth place of Gary, Indiana. 

The guard moved to Orlando, Florida, his senior year of high school and played for Montverde Academy. He then left the sunshine state for New York where he played for Binghamton University his freshman and sophomore years. 

Finally, he moved to Los Angeles to attend Cal State LA his junior and senior year. Basketball is an important aspect of his life, but what actually brought him to the city of Angels was to pursue his real passion: music. 

Muhammad hoped to expand his career as a Hip-Hop/Rap artist. He has already released music on Apple Music, including his most recent album “Life is Art,” under the alias of Malachi LA. 

Muhammad is also “very adamant” about his spiritual well-being. He believes his spirituality will carry on to every other aspect of his life.

Muhammad had a great senior year. Before his final game, Muhummad had back-to-back 27 point games against Sonoma State and San Francisco State. Ultimately, he wrapped up his season with a game-high 17 points against UC San Diego in a first-round CCAA playoff game. 

Fard Muhammad reached the end of his final season wanting to be remembered as a great teammate. But he also wants to be remembered as a spiritual, vocal and enthusiastic person, “and that’s pretty much it.”