In Sports Applications

May 07, 2012

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Considered one of the best young basketball players in the country, this teenager got bigger, faster and stronger through sport-specific CrossFit training. Dan Edelman explains.

The mayhem of March Madness is long over, and if you’re into college hoops, you probably watched the Kentucky Wildcats defeat the Kansas Jayhawks for the NCAA title. Some of you have also probably heard of Shabazz Muhammad.

Muhammad is a senior at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas and has committed to play basketball at UCLA next year. By most accounts, he is considered one of the best high-school basketball players in the country.

What caught the interest of CrossFit Kids HQ was the fact that Muhammad has been CrossFitting since 2010 at CrossFit 702 in Las Vegas under the guidance of box owner Jared Glover.

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7 Comments on “Shabazz Muhammad: Top Basketball Prospect, CrossFitter”


wrote …

Great to see CrossFit being used(but not overused) to develop an elite athlete. Shabazz is described by scouts to be one of the most competitive high school athletes they have seen in a long time, and his explosiveness around the rim and ability to finish in traffic has significantly improved over the last year.

Congratulations Jared, your doing a great job!


Richard Gonzalez wrote …


This is a great article. Thank you for highlighting a smart coach taking care of young athletes.


wrote …

"Sport specific crossfit", nice way of saying not actually doing crossfit at all.


wrote …

Agree with Shane.

This is a story about a great athlete training at a Crossfit gym under a trainer who clearly knows his stuff.

It isn't a story about an athlete using Crossfit necessarily. If that makes sense. Plenty of non Crossfit gyms utilize plyometrics, oly lifts, banded squats and sprints etc., and then finish with some kind of conditioning. This isn't Crossfit it's decades old sport training.

I say big time kudos to Jared for training his client in the way he needs and utilizing proper training and programming to get his clients great results.


replied to comment from patrick skinner

Wow, I am completely surprised I had an agreeable comment on here. I expected the kool-aid drinkers to come out in droves calling me a hater. Appreciate the well thought out response.

I do think it's great that Jared is doing so well as a trainer, however, I feel like crossfit is being a little deceptive with this article and title. :/


wrote …

Shane and Patrick, you make good points. As a CrossFit Kids trainer, what interested me about this story was the very fact that a young sport-specialized athlete was committed to working his GPP as part of his training. With early sport specialization the trend in youth sports, too often GPP of any kind is neglected to the detriment of the athlete over the long term. At CrossFit Kids HQ, we have many teen clients arrive who dominate on their respective field of play but cannot perform a pull-up, squat, or push-up. We hope to change that, but it’s not the kind of change that occurs over night.

Glover was kind enough to describe in general terms his strength-and-conditioning methods for an elite-level athlete. We’re talking about an athlete with pretty good odds of playing pro. Thinking about that for a moment, we’re also talking about a potentially huge material return on a lifelong investment in a single pursuit. That cannot be taken lightly.

Glover’s careful attention to the fact that Shabazz is playing basketball year-round with no appreciable offseason is the critical point here. So, is an athlete who plays basketball year-round, ie, most of the week, every week, and who plans on playing in the NBA (with all that that implies) going to be hitting classic CrossFit WODs in a 3-on-1-off regimen? Probably not. Is Jared cherry-picking movements and methods that keep this special client functioning at the highest levels in his chosen arena and provide the most bang for his buck? Probably. Operative word here: special. Shabazz represents a special population no different, really, than, say, a 70-year-old man with a hip replacement. Will we program Kelly or Filthy Fifty for this gentleman?

From a CrossFit Kids perspective, we need to start somewhere when it comes to informing young sport-specialized or overscheduled multiple-sport athletes (and more significantly their parents) about the importance of GPP to athletic success and general healthy living across the life course. Glover’s work with Shabazz is a step in the right direction.


wrote …

Dan, while I see where you are coming from, I beg to differ. I would challenge to provide examples of "teens...who dominate...but cannot perform a pull-up, squat, or push-up". Unless we are talking about girls cross-country running I am 100% sure this would be the exception instead of the rule.

Your second paragraph; yeah? We know he is going pro, not really sure what you are trying to get at. The title and the use of crossfit still is misleading in this regard.

Thirdly, what are you trying to say here? Of course he wouldn't be doing this stuff, he needs to specialize, not do randomized WODs. So if he is specializing he isn't doing crossfit.

Lastly, why do we need more GPP? It's not at all imperative to success in sport specialized athletes. Did Michael Jordan do GPP? How about Tiger Woods? How about Magic Johnson? How about Babe Ruth? How about LeBron James? How about Tom Brady? The answer is no.

Crossfit is WODs and that's all it will ever be. Shabazz is not doing crossfit, he just has a trainer who happens to also have a crossfit certification. Crossfit is GPP, sure, but GPP is not crossfit. Crossfit needs to stop trying to stake claim to every kind of workout, this article is once again as I said misleading.

You could easily write a similar article about any gym go-er. Saw person X on the treadmill today, then they did a heavy squat followed by a circuit of pushups, box jumps, and jumping rope. They must be doing crossfit! No, they aren't. Shut up.

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