Kenwood retires NBA veteran and alum Nazr Mohammed’s jersey

Kenwood High School Assistant Principal Karen Calloway, Principal Dr. Gregory Jones, Athletic Director Danae Russell and Boys’ Basketball Coach Marlo Finner join Kenwood alum and 18-season National Basketball Association player Nazr Mohammed during a ceremony marking the retirement of Mohammed’s Kenwood High School jersey (#54), at the school, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Tuesday, Jan. 23.

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Staff Writer

Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., hosted a jersey retirement ceremony for 18-year NBA veteran and class of ’95 Kenwood alum Nazr Mohammed, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the school’s auditorium.

During the ceremony, family, friends, school, coaches and former teammates honored Mohammed.

The event was moderated by Kenwood senior and top-ranked class grade point average leader Amanda McIntyre and started with two musical selections from the award-winning Kenwood Concert Choir, followed by a student welcome.

The Kenwood Academy High School choir performs during a ceremony marking the retirement of Nazr Mohammed’s Kenwood High School jersey (#54), at the school, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Tuesday, Jan. 23.

After the choir performance and student welcome, the school presented Mohammed with a basketball highlight tribute video displaying several highlights and photos of the NBA journeymen’s high school, college and pro career. In addition to his highlight reel and video tribute, Mohammed was also honored by the Lady Broncos Pom and Cheer Team,

Kenwood Principal Dr. Gregory Jones and Assistant Principal Karen Calloway, teammates and coaches participated in a retirement presentation for Mohammed’s jersey number “54.”

Mohammed said throughout his basketball career, he was always a team player.

Kenwood High School alum and 18-season National Basketball Association player Nazr Mohammed signs a picture of the 1995 Kenwood Academy High School basketball team, of which he was a member, during a ceremony marking the retirement of his Kenwood High School jersey (#54), at the school, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Tuesday, Jan. 23.

“I’m kind of blown away,” said Mohammed during his speech in a filled auditorium. “This is really special. I’m a team player and I’m being recognized as an individual. It’s something I’m not quite use to.”

The Chicago native played for several teams throughout his NBA career. His journey started with the Philadelphia 76ers (1998–2001), and played for several other teams including the Atlanta Hawks (2001–2004), New York Knicks (2004–2005), San Antonio Spurs (2005–2006), Detroit Pistons (2006–2007), Charlotte Bobcats (2007–2011), Oklahoma City Thunder (2011–2012) and the Chicago Bulls (2012–2015).

Kenwood High School alum and 18-season National Basketball Association player Nazr Mohammed speaks during a ceremony marking the retirement of his Kenwood High School jersey (#54), at the school, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Mohammed was a proud graduate of Kenwood Academy’s Class of 1995 and attended the University of Kentucky, winning two National Championships in 1996 and 1998. Following his college career, Mohammed was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in June of 1998.

In 2014, Mohammed was awarded “BULL OF THE YEAR” by the Comcast’s ‘Sports Awards’ for his considerable contributions to his team, as well as the Chicago community.

The Kenwood Academy High School cheer leading squad performs during a ceremony marking the retirement of Nazr Mohammed’s Kenwood High School jersey (#54), at the school, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Mohammed and his wife, Mandi, have two daughters, Amani and Sanaa, and a son, Nasir. He created The Nazr Mohammed Foundation, which is committed to being a charitable member of the global community by supporting a multitude of worthy causes through personal donations, fundraisers, camps, grants and scholarships. In August of 2012, his foundation hosted the Kenwood Academy Capital Improvements Fundraiser where he still contributes today.

j.phillips@hpherald.com