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Salams Muhammad Abdul-Aleem(HoopFinesse)!

Ibrahim Sal

It's always important to recognize when an individual not only uses his or her platform with a positive outlook but also uses their platform for the good of spreading religion and informing their followers/supporters about Islam. Muhammad Abdul-Aleem also known as “HoopFinesse” across all social media platforms is an African American Muslim influencer. He is an inspirational African American Muslim brother with a goal wanting to spread positivity and wisdom to the youth. Read more about him here.

Muhammad was born in Jacksonville, Mississippi and born on May 12, 1988. While being raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up, Muhammad always had the passion of wanting to play basketball, along with learning more about his religion and becoming the best possible version of himself. Both his mother and his father were the first Muslims in his family. Muhammad’s father being from Brooklyn, New York, and his mother being from Dallas, Georgia. Throughout his childhood, Muhammad realized his talent in basketball and dreamt of one day taking it to the next level as this was something he always imagined himself doing. This was the beginning point of a long journey of discovering his true potential as not only a professional basketball player, but as an amazing Muslim man.

After graduating high school in 2007, Muhammad rejected Division 1 scholarships to many universities across the states to pursue his education in Islam and Arabic. He traveled to Tarim, Yemen between 2008 to 2010. During this time, he went on and studied Arabic and the religion of Islam in Southern Yemen. During this time period he did play for the National Yemeni basketball team. Coming back to the states in late 2010, after this journey led him to Georgia Perimeter, playing basketball on scholarship, and also achieving his associates degree after two years in 2012. After receiving his associates degree, and having a successful season at Georgia Perimeter, this assisted his transition to a Historically Black College and University, which is FAMU (Florida A&M University). Where he attended on full scholarship, and also continued playing basketball between 2012 to 2014. Studying Criminal Justice and English, he finished his bachelor’s degree at this HBCU, and graduated in 2014. 

Muhammad knew after graduating that there was a new chapter of his life that was required to be opened and went to Saudi Arabia in 2015 to pursue playing Basketball for a local city Lebanese team and taught English to help support himself. During this period, Muhammad found himself downloading Snapchat and realized he had a new passion and talent in making short funny videos that he would post onto this platform. This would then snowball, and make him go viral across Snapchat, which then allowed him to continue posting humorous videos. After a successful two years on Snapchat, Muhammad realized that maybe Snapchat was not meant for him, and it was time to take a break from social media as it all came at once and was overwhelming since at this time he was not yet under the name of “Hoop Finesse”.

 He would then take a break and detox from social media all the way up until 2018. He was soon married in April of 2019, to Stacey a Puerto Rican Revert Muslim, and further expanded his social platform with his wife.As COVID hit the world in the end of 2019, quarantine was right around the corner which forced individuals with busy schedules to have unlimited free time. This was a blessing on this Muslim couple, as it gave them the chance to become creative and post Islamic videos across TikTok which the entire Muslim community on Tiktok absolutely adored. 

After months of spreading Islam using both of their platforms, Muhammad established the “HoopFinesse Basketball Tour”, where he traveled the states helping assist the youth in their basketball skills and also supplemented the teachings of our religion within his basketball camps. This program began to grow and gain traction allowing him to travel to multiple cities such as Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Sacramento, Tampa, Denver, and many other locations across the country. As stated by Muhammad himself, “The tour is basically instilling the religion into the youth helping them become whatever they want.” He then states that, “A lot of Muslim youth lose their identity, thinking they can’t carry the profession he or her strives to become, and also maintain their deen within themselves.” He adds, “My duty for the youth is to get them comfortable with their Muslim name, help them become proud to be a Muslim, and to not change anything about themselves… they can dribble and deen”. (Muhammad Abdul-Aleem).

Muhammad’s personal goal for social media is to finish memorizing the Quran to become a Hafidh. He also would has the goal of completing the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). 

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