Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) - "He's our energy guy. He's our "X" factor," says head coach Mark Macon.
"Gritty, he's going to get inside, grab rebounds for us," adds junior guard Chretien Lukusa.
"I think I'm a versatile defender that I can guard a few positions and I'm kind of athletic," says Mahamoud Jabbi.
Mahamoud Jabbi is hardly your average basketball player.
He grew up in the West African nation of Gambia and moved to New York City when he was eight.
He's the first member of his family to show any athletic talent and didn't even pick up a basketball until high school.
"When I got to 10th grade, a few of my friends, they thought it would be a good idea if I just played on the team because they were all doing it so the coach kind of just took me because he took the rest of my friends," says Jabbi.
Jabbi started college at SUNY Oswego.
After two years, he wanted to be closer to home so he transferred to BU, but not just to play.
He earned an academic scholarship and has embraced the unofficial title of team professor.
"I like to just keep up on current events so I'll tell them if something is going on and they'll be like, 'OK Stuart A. Scott' and stuff like that," says Jabbi. "They joke on me a little bit but I enjoy it."
"He knows things I don't even know why he knows them," says Jabbi's teammate, Lukusa. "He uses analogies just as much as Coach Macon, Mahamoud's going to tell you something."
Jabbi couldn't play last year under NCAA transfer rules.
But he was a key practice player whose game resembles that of former Bearcat, Reggie Fuller.
"I was like Reggie's intern there last year so I pretty much got to follow him around, see how he prepared for games so I kind of took his work ethic," says Jabbi.
"There were times in practice, last year, when Coach Broadus would be like, 'I wish Mahamoud could play because the way you guys are playing, if Mahamoud was playing, a lot of you guys wouldn't be getting playing time," adds Lukusa.
His energy and smarts have earned Jabbi his own minutes on the latest stop in his unique personal journey.
In Vestal, Justin Horowitz, Action Sports.