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A Tribute to Coach Muhammad

September 5th, 2012

The 15U and 16U Illinois Celtics basketball teams just finished very successful Spring and Summer AAU seasons. The 15U team posted a record of 42 and 9, while the 16U team in its first season finished 20 and 14, with a second-place finish in the Old Gold tournament.

All of this success would not have happened if one man did not have the vision. Fortunately for our program, that man was Anthony Muhammad.

Coach Muhammad, as he was known around the basketball circuit, had the vision to start a new program two years ago that focused on developing the full potential of each student athlete in our program. His vision was to promote youth development through basketball.

In our first 15U game of the season, Coach Muhammad suffered a massive heart attack and passed away suddenly. This was a devastating blow to the entire Celtics family and to the basketball community.

Coach Muhammad had touched so many people, as evidenced at his funeral service. He had especially touched each and every person in our program. Because of him, the coaches, players, and parents decided to continue his dream and dedicate this season to him.

We know that Coach M was with us throughout this season. He is smiling down on us today, and his spirit lives on in each of us. We also know that he is well pleased with not only our successes, but also with our commitment to keeping his vision alive.

Coach Muhammad was an extraordinary man who had a deep love for his players. Not only did he spend countless hours teaching them the finer points of basketball, he also spent hours attending other events of the players on his team. Whether it was a football game, baseball game or a recital, it did not matter. Coach Muhammad would be there cheering on that player and his family. Relationship was extremely important to him, and that is one of the reasons why he was universally respected.

Although this season was more difficult than we could ever have imagined, we came through (as Coach M would have wanted) stronger and more committed to our players and their families. We owe so much to Coach Muhammad and his wife Michelle for their commitment and dedication to seeing this vision come true.

Coach Muhammad, your memory will always be with us, and we thank you for all that you have done for us.

Rest in Peace, Coach M!

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