NIA Prep Parts Ways With Coach But Marches On

Alif Muhammad, the fiery, controversial head of the Alif Muhammad NIA School in Newark, N.J., parted ways Tuesday with head basketball coach Rudy King, but insists the program will carry on and continue to attempt to to be a national prep power.

A year ago, NIA Prep was rated the No. 1 prep team in New Jersey and No. 6 nationally.

But Muhammad said he was especially upset that NIA had recently lost to Bridgton (Maine) Academy “by 40 points” and then lost to ASA, a junior college, last Saturday. He said he initially suspended King, and then accepted his resignation, even though King was 6-2 on the season.

“I wanted to make a temporary change with Rudy,” Muhammad told SNY.tv by phone.

“I can’t lose. I’m a national program. I’ve got to compete with South Kent. I gotta compete with St. Thomas More.” To read more of this story, click here

Balance of Power Has Shifted to JUCOs from Preps

Mike Taylor had it all going for him.

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard led Brooklyn Boys & Girls to its first New York PSAL championship ever in the spring of 2010, and then signed a National Letter of Intent to Rutgers that September, joining a blockbuster recruiting class for head coach Mike Rice.

Then the bottom began to fall out.

“I just stopped working,” he told SNY.tv by phone Tuesday. “I thought I didn’t have to to do school work and stuff like that.” To read more of this story, click here

Towson's Amayo Denied NCAA Waiver

Incoming Towson freshman Kelvin Amayo of NIA Prep was denied a waiver Thursday by the NCAA, multiple sources told SNY.tv.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound combo guard says he will now look into spending a prop year at another school that accepts non-qualifiers next season rather than attend a junior college.

“I’m looking for a big prop and I have some schools right now,” Amayo said by text, declining to name the schools.

Towson does not accept non-qualifiers as part of a league rule. To read more of this story, click here

Cincinnati Optimistic NIA Prep's Thomas Will Be Cleared

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said he’s optimistic that incoming freshman Shaq Thomas of Newark NIA Prep will be cleared to play during the 2011-12 season.

“Our compliance department is working with the NIA school as well as the NCAA and we’re confident that everything is going to work out,” Cronin told SNY.tv Friday morning.

As first reported Thursday by SNY.tv, the 6-foot-7 Thomas is one of six NIA Prep athletes, including four basketball players, ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Alif Muhammad of NIA Prep said he is appealing on behalf of all six athletes.

Ryan Rhoomes (Texas Christian), Kelvin Amayo (Towson) and Ibn Muhammad (Fairleigh Dickinson) are the other three basketball players. To read more of this story, click here

Six NIA Prep Athletes Denied Eligibility

Six athletes from Newark NIA Prep have been denied eligibility for the upcoming season and must appeal their eligibility to the NCAA, according to Alif Muhammad of NIA Prep.

Among those six athletes are four basketball players — Ryan Rhoomes (Texas Christian), Shaq Thomas (Cincinnati), Kelvin Amayo (Towson), Ibn Muhammad (Fairleigh Dickinson) — as well as a football player and a soccer player Muhammad would not identify.

“All six are appealing,” Muhammad said.

Sources close to several of the basketball staffs confirmed the development.

Muhammad said the NCAA had “accepted their high school diplomas from me,” but not the “classes they were taking toward their diplomas.” To read more of this story, click here

Kelvin Amayo Makes the Call

NEW YORK — Kelvin Amayo has made his decision.

“I will be taking my talents to Towson University, to be a Tiger,” the 6-foot-5, 210-pound combo guard out of Hillside, N.J. said Monday in the SNY.tv studio.

Amayo, who averaged 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals for a Newark (N.J.) NIA Prep team that finished 26-7, chose Towson over College of Charleston, Providence and Seton Hall because first-year head coach Pat Skerry has offered to give him the ball and let him run the offense. To read more of this story, click here

Kelvin Amayo Weighing Options

Kelvin Amayo wants to play in the Big East Conference but is uncertain if he will end up there.

Amayo’s teammates at Newark Nia Prep, Shaquille Thomas (Cincinnati) and Ryan Rhoomes (TCU), are both headed to the Big East (TCU beginning in 2012), and he wants the chance to compete against them.

“I want to play against Shaq and Ryan,” the Hillside, N.J., said Friday by phone. “I gotta kill Shaq and Ryan when they get to the Big East.”

Right now, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Amayo is considering Seton Hall, Towson and the College of Charleston. He will take officials next week to Towson (Tuesday) and Charleston (Thursday). To read more of this story, click here

Amayo to Visit Rice (UPDATED)

Newark NIA Prep combo guard Kelvin Amayo will take an official visit Thursday to Rice University along with coach Rudy King.

Alif Muhammad of NIA Prep said Louisville coach Rick Pitino also called Amayo Tuesday to express interest.

The 6-foot-5 Amayo is considering Rice and Towson, but Virginia Tech and Wyoming have also expressed interest.

Muhammad said Rutgers was no longer an option for Amayo.

Having lost Tyree Graham to injury and Mike Taylor to prep school, Mike Rice’s club is also considering Brewster (N.H.) Academy guard Eli Carter, Huntington (WV) Prep combo guard Maurice Aniefiok and 6-4 shooting guard Chris Adams of MACK Prep in Charlotte, N.C.

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Dermon Player Hired at NIA Prep

BOSTON – Dermon Player is back.

The former Seton Hall and St. John’s assistant has returned to coaching as a “consultant” to the Alif Muhammad NIA School.

Player, an assistant to former Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez, said he’s happy to be back in the coaching game.

“I’ve been coaching for 24 years on all levels,” Player told SNY.tv. “I took the year off and decided to get back and work with young men. It’s a passion of mine and a great opportunity to coach with Alif Muhammad and take it to new heights.” To read more of this story, click here

Ryan Rhoomes Makes the Call


NEW YORK — Ryan Rhoomes will play in two conferences in the next two years — and he won’t even have to transfer.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward from South Jamaica, Queens and Newark NIA Prep, will attend TCU, choosing them over Seton Hall, Providence and Oklahoma State.

Texas Christian will play next season in the Mountain West Conference before transitioning to the Big East beginning in 2012. To read more of this story, click here