Where are they now?: Khalid El-Amin
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 23:10
With the opening of basketball season less than a week away, it seems appropriate to bring up one of UConn’s best and most important players. It is easy to keep track of former Huskies like Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Rudy Gay and Ben Gordon since they have all accomplished big things in the NBA. However, not all players who excel at UConn can carry that success over to the NBA. One of those players was Khalid El-Amin.
El-Amin grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and led Minneapolis North High School to three straight state titles. In 1997 he was named a McDonald’s All-American and Minnesota Mr. Basketball.
El-Amin then took his talents to Storrs, where he excelled as the starting point guard. He averaged 16 points and more than four assists per game, doing well enough to be named Big East Conference Rookie of the Year, setting the UConn single-season scoring record for a freshman.
As a sophomore, El-Amin’s individual statistics declined but he, along with Richard Hamilton, led the Huskies to their first ever National Championship win with a 77-74 win over heavily favored Duke in the title game. The win cemented UConn’s place as a national power.
El-Amin was named to the All-Big East first team his junior year, averaging 16.0 points, 4.4 assists, and 1.7 steals, leading the Huskies in all three categories. He also shot 93.4 percent from the free throw line, setting a Big East record.
El-Amin left UConn after his junior season and entered the NBA draft. Although El-Amin had been a standout in both high school and at UConn, he was looked at as a risk because of his poor size.
The Chicago Bulls drafted El-Amin in the 2nd round the 2000 NBA Draft, No. 34 overall. He played in 50 games for the Bulls his rookie season, averaging 6.3 points and 2.9 assists while playing less than 20 minutes per game. El-Amin never played another game in the NBA after leaving the Bulls following his rookie season. However, his professional career was far from over.
Since 2001, El-Amin has played with nine different teams in countries all over the world including France, Israel, Turkey, Ukraine, Lithuania and Croatia. His most memorable stint was with Azovmash Mariupol of the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague, where he won the 2006 Ukrainian Championship and was named the MVP of both the regular season and the playoffs.
In 2012, El-Amin signed with Le Man Sarth Basket, a French professional team.