December 14, 1998
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida State center Karim Shabazz has left the
team to be with his ailing mother, Seminoles coach Steve Robinson said.
“Being her oldest son, he felt that he needed to be the provider in her
daily life as well as be there for his younger brother,” Robinson said. “It
is a very serious problem that he has had to deal with on a daily basis. It has
affected his level of concentration on the court and in the classroom.”
Shabazz, a sophomore from New York, started all five games for Florida State
(3-2) this year. He was averaging 31 minutes a game with 9.2 points and
team-highs of eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Shabazz was also third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in blocks.
The 7-2 Shabazz was the tallest player in FSU history and his departure
leaves a void on a squad already expected to struggle in the ACC.
“It is a tremendous blow to our team and program, but mostly I feel bad for
Karim,” Robinson said.
The Seminoles hope to get inside help from 6-foot-7 junior college transfer
Damous Anderson, who is expected to become academically eligible this week and
was considered Florida State’s top recruit this year.
Shabazz, who couldn’t be reached for comment, told Robinson on Thursday that
he was considering leaving the team.
Neither Shabazz nor the team has said what medical condition the player’s
mother suffers from.