Khalid El-Amin got the sweet taste of victory after leading UConn to the 1999 National Championship, and has not stopped since. BC Goettingen (Germany, BBL) received much criticism this off-season when they brought in the 35 year old El-Amin, fresh off a 2013-14 season he spent rehabbing an injury. The move was based off El-Amin’s European track record, which speaks for itself. Joining Besiktas (Hilton Armstrong’s current team) of the Turkish League in 2003, El-Amin dominated for two straight seasons -averaging 20 points a game and leading the league in assists- including an MVP performance at the 2005 Turkish League All-Star Game. Next, El-Amin signed in Ukraine where he led Mariupol of the Ukrainian Basketball Superleage to the 2006 Championship, earning both regular season and playoff MVP honors. Following stints in Turkey and Lithuania, El-Amin won his most recent title in 2011, with Zagreb of the Croatian A-League.
Goettingen’s bold move has paid immediate dividends as El-Amin has led the club to a #10 ranking in their first season back in the BBL(first tier German league, think Niels Giffey) after winning the German ProA title last season (second tier, think Enosch Wolf). Goettingen has 16 regular season games remaining to move up to #8, the last playoff berth. The club took a step in the right direction this afternoon, defeating #5 EWE Baskets behind 15 points/3 assists from El-Amin.
His performance was worthy of an appearance in the BBL “Tweet of the Day”, comparing El-Amin to 2004 German Footballer of the Year Ailton, who like El-Amin was small and chubby but quick (thank you Enosch for the explanation).
After a rough 36 point loss at the hands of Giffey’s ALBA Berlin (see above photo) to start the year, El-Amin has put together quite the season, averaging 14 points per game in 29 minutes with his 5.9 assists good for fourth in the BBL. Since highlights from today’s game are not yet available, here are top plays from a game back in December where El-Amin dropped 28 points en route to an upset of #4 Ratiopharm.
Although nearly 16 years removed from his Storrs days, El-Amin still bleeds blue. In fact, this past summer I watched him hit the game-winner in the Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic at Mohegan Sun. At the 2:10 mark of the interview below, El-Amin talks about his love for UConn and the disbandment of the Big East Conference.
“I represent UConn everywhere I go, I’m a Husky for life.”