Basketball high scorer heading for college

Rahmatullah Salim shares his basketball journey

by Serena Deranleau, staff

He stands at the edge of the court, facing the bleachers, full of excited fans. As the announcer shouts his name, he runs forward onto the court, high-fiving his teammates as he goes, and the crowd wildly erupts into cheers for him. Rahmatullah Salim, senior, plays on the boys varsity basketball team.

“This year, I was kind of the main scorer. I try to be a leader on and off the court, and I was just trying to get us wins basically, getting those buckets,” said Salim, considering his role on the team.

Salim was able to build his skill through lots of work. “I just played basketball every day, especially over quarantine, that’s when I excelled the most. I started lifting more weights, and I started playing way more basketball,” he said. 

In that time he was usually playing twice a day for two to four hours.

Now that in-person school is back in swing he says he has less time. “I don’t really have much free time anymore because I’ve got sports, especially with college sports now, I’ve got to go to more training and more open gyms and stuff like that,” he said.

 Salim will be continuing his commitment to basketball through college. “I committed to Shoreline Community College and hopefully within the next two years there I can get an offer at a D2 or D1 school and transfer up.” he said.

In addition to the training and practices for Shoreline Community College’s team, Salim will also be pursuing a challenging academic path. 

“I’m trying to become a physical therapist or something in sports medicine, so I’m going to be picking classes around that field. I’m going to be taking a lot of science classes…so it’s just going to be either straight basketball or school,” he said. 

Basketball provides Salim a way to keep himself focused, and teaches him important lessons. 

“It’s been a really big impact on my life. I’ve played sports since I was a kid, and sports [have]  kept me away from a lot of things, which has been good for me,” he said. 

A lesson that Salim will carry into his future, especially the next four years of his education, is to treat school like he treats sports. “The same effort I put into sports I’ve got to put into school,” he said. 

“I didn’t really do much of that, and I’m starting to learn to do that, especially at the college level because if I don’t have good grades I can’t transfer up, so I’ve got to be able to do that, and just have a good mentality towards everything.” 

Salim’s advice towards others with a love for the sport is to have fun and work hard. 

“If you’re not taking it that seriously, have fun; if you’re taking it seriously, put in the work and you’ll see the results.”