AHS Student Will Play Ball at Washington State
Alameda High School student Sulaiman Hameed accepted a college football scholarship to Washington State University (WSU) Monday, Jan. 6. The high school senior chose the Cougars over offers from Arizona State and UNLV.
“I felt like they (WSU) had my best interest at heart,” said Hameed who played cornerback, wide receiver and running back for the Hornets. “I felt they didn’t just look at me as just a football player, but as a student and as a person. I felt like this was the best school for me to go to where I can develop as an overall person.”
Hameed was also grateful of WSU for sticking with him through his most difficult time.
“They’ve been really loyal to me during my injury,” said Hameed. “I really appreciated that.”
After Hameed’s stellar sophomore season in the fall of 2011, in which he garnered recognition from prominent college football programs like University of Alabama and Oregon, Hameed eagerly awaited his junior year in 2012 to earn more attention from colleges and lead his Hornets to the North Coast Section playoffs. However, Hameed’s junior season ended before it ever began when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at practice three weeks before the season started. The injury sidelined Hameed for his entire junior season and the beginning of his senior year.
“It was an extremely difficult thing to go through,” said Hameed. “At first, I kept asking myself ‘why did this happen to me?’”
It takes most athletes six months to a year to recover from the devastating injury. What made it even worse on Hameed was wondering if missing an entire year of football would prevent him from earning a college scholarship. But days after the injury Hameed stopped worrying about why the injury occurred. Instead he focused on how he was going to get healthy.
Hameed went through a year-long rehab process that included strenuous physical therapy with the Alameda High’s physician three days a week and practice regimens everyday before and after school.
“I stopped worrying about why it happened and just said that this was my path,” said Hameed. “I came out of it a stronger person.”
Hameed got back on the field after missing a few games his senior year and was back to his old ways. He scored on a 60-yard touchdown run in his first game back. He also was named to the West Alameda County Conference Shore Line League’s first team as a defensive back his senior year. Hameed’s journey from high school athlete to Division I college football player was especially pleasing to see for those around him.
“I’m really excited and proud of him,” said Hornet football coach Kemp Moyer. “They’re (WSU) getting a great athlete and someone with great character.”
Hameed, who has a 3.8 grade point average (GPA), will begin school at WSU this fall. He will officially sign with WSU on National College Football Signing Day on Feb. 5.
“I’m extremely excited to get on campus with my new teammates,” said Hameed.