Abdul Muhammad beat the odds to become a DI athlete. Read his story as he helps the kids of North Omaha do the same.
Abdul Muhammad is an early-riser, usually starting his day before sunrise. His wife puts him in charge of making the coffee. He drinks four or five cups to complement an energy level that never stops—he works seven days a week, commuting 30 minutes each way to the North Omaha Boys and Girls Club, and bouncing around the city wherever he’s needed. “[Muhammad’s] one of Omaha’s hidden gems,” said area coach Araf Evans at a recent Tuesday night scrimmage. “What he does for these kids is unbelievable.” Here at 26th and Hamilton, he’s coaching the U14 Battle Warriors 7v7 football team. It’s a neighborhood rife with talent that’s produced professional legends such as Gale Sayers (football), Bob Boozer (basketball) and Bob Gibson (baseball). Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers grew up here, too, and frequently loans the bronze statue to the club. They place it in a case near the entryway to serve as inspiration to the kids, whom Muhammad has been inspiring himself since joining the club in 2006. “I’ve known since my junior year of college working with kids is what I wanted to do,” said Muhammad, who earned All-Big Eight honors at Nebraska. “I’ve been approached with different opportunities to go elsewhere, but this is where I’m needed.”