Karim El-Amin is all about the comeback.
Earlier this season, El-Amin, a 6-foot-3, 165-pound guard at Booker T. Washington, fueled a 16-point, fourth-quarter comeback to beat Byrd in the North DeSoto tournament. El-Amin made the game-tying and game-winning shots.
But El-Amin’s presence on the court is its own comeback story.
El-Amin missed the first half of his sophomore season due to academic ineligibility.
But he’s worked hard in the classroom to get back to basketball, his passion.
“My biggest moment of the season is just coming back from being ineligible last year,” El-Amin said. “I wanted to be able to help my team and come back strong. I’ve grown as a total person. Coach tells us that basketball is a way of life, not just a sport. I had to learn that.”
El-Amin gives the Lions a constant scoring threat, but this season he has become consistent off the court as well.
“He’s developed,” BTW coach Tony Reliford said. “He’s grown as a young man. He’s taking care of his business. He’s matured on and off the court.
“He’s a scorer. We have focused on defense here for so many years, but it’s good to have a guy who can go off for 25 points any night. That makes him the player he is. He has the outside jump shot and can drive into the lane as well.”
El-Amin has kept BTW in games. He led the Lions with 14 points in a 45-41 loss to Mansfield Wednesday.
“When I get hot, coach tells me to keep shooting and keep moving without the ball,” El-Amin said. “I try to do that and keep shooting and keep driving.”
El-Amin hopes his hard work will one day pay off with a chance to play college basketball.
“I just want to get to the next level,” said El-Amin, who also enjoys playing golf. “That’s my main focus and motivation.”
El-Amin is averaging 14 points a game for BTW and hopes to lead another, bigger comeback. The Lions (10-9) have lost their first three District 1-2A games and host North Caddo (14-9, 1-2) Friday night.
“We have to come together as a team and get back to the way we were playing to start out the season,” El-Amin said. “We have a home game (against North Caddo), and we need a win to get us going. We’re not out of it yet.”