Khalid El-Amin

"Minnesota's Finest"

Khalid grew up on the North side of Minneapolis. At a very young age he impressed people from all ages because of his ability to have complete control of his basketball swagger. He had an unmatched confidence that is very rarely seen in grown men let alone a young child. So it’s safe to say that Lid was ahead of his time.

As a 6th grader Khalid would play pick up basketball with the older guys. Not only would he play, but he would also impress and down right embarrass older players on a regular basis. He averaged almost 50 points a game in 7th grade when he played with Jerry’s 7th grade traveling team at Jordan Park. Khalid also played football for Jordan and excelled at running back. The next year there was no reason for him to play 8th grade basketball after dominating the whole 7th grade year he decided to make the jump to the high school varsity scene. He would come off the bench as an eighth grader and would show unbelievable promise for the years to come. 

Khalid’s freshman year was not your typical freshman year. Khalid had built a reputation that demanded excellence whenever he touched the court. Opposing teams had to scout him and he made it really tough for coaches to game plan because he could do it all from the point guard position. If you pressed up he would go by you. If you backed up he would knock down the shot, he would make it possible for his teammates to go one on one because you could not help off of him his basketball IQ was way to high and he would make the right basketball play if you were sleeping. Later that year deep in the regional playoffs north lost to Washburn in the semi final game to go to state. North vowed to not loss another playoff game and with Khalid at the helm they would have a really good chance. 

The sophomore season would bring the winds of change. Teamed up with Chris Rainey in the backcourt these two would lead North to an impressive 30 and 0 record and it’s first of three championships in the El-Amin era. Khalid would earn player of the year honors and MVP of the state tournament in his sophomore season as they cake walked through the season and the state tournament. After losing Chris Rainey to graduation Ozzie Lockhart and Jabbar Washington would step up with out missing a beat. North trampled through the season and just like the 1st championship they would finish in dramatic fashion as Khalid made a come back basically by his self by scoring the last 8 points plus the game winning three pointer from 35 feet at the buzzer to beat St. Thomas. So excited after hitting the shot Khalid jumped on the scorer’s table and his team-followed suit. This moment would replay on ESPN over and over again. 

Khalid also gave a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota that year and all was well. His senior year would bring a different swagger and a change of heart when Lid would back out of his agreement to go to the U and signed a full ride to play at U Conn. But before this year was done he had a lot of work to do. North lost a few games that senior year, Khalid had to sit out a few games, but when they got the train moving there was no stopping their momentum. They rolled like they did the previous years and showed why they were the best team in the state for the past three years. Playing Oak Hill Academy at the Target Center they would embarrass them by 40 as Khalid hit a game high 40 points and made a case for being one of the top recruits in the nation. They won the state championship again and Khalid would receive MVP of the state tournament for the third time in three years. Undoubtedly one of the best and most exciting high school careers this state has ever seen or saw he carried his success and swagger to the university of Connecticut where huskie fans would melt when they got the full effect of the El-Amin Aura.

After leading Minneapolis North to three straight state titles and being named a McDonald's All-American, the three-time Minnesota State Player of the Year and the 1997 Minnesota Mr. Basketball. He continued padding his resume when he got to Connecticut. He only was named Big East Conference Rookie of the Year while being second in the team in scoring (16.0) and setting the U Conn single-season scoring record for a freshman. El-Amin would later reestablish his winning reputation at U Conn. 

As a sophomore, El-Amin will forever be remembered for being the starting point guard and floor general on that UConn team that won the 1999 NCAA Championship game over Duke. In the final game he scored the Huskies' final 4 points in their fascinating 77-74 victory.Khalid has a confidence and energy level that only comes every blue moon. He has a supreme swag that has not been matched since he has graduated from North High. People are still amazed by his impact on the game of basketball in the state of Minnesota. El-Amin will definitely go down as one of the best players to ever play the game from this state. He did the game and players from Minneapolis an ultimate favor by putting Minneapolis on the map when scouts were looking the other way. Lid is a true pioneer and a model basketball gem.

His NBA career
El-Amin was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 2nd round with the 5th pick (34th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft. That year, he played in the Schick Rookie Challenge at All-Star weekend in Washington, DC and scored 18 points. He also played in the NBA briefly with the Miami Heat in 2002. In 50 games in the NBA, El-Amin averaged 6.3 points with 2.9 assists, 1.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.1 turnovers and 2.0 fouls in 18.6 minutes.

His European career
El-Amin signed with Strasbourg (France) in January 2002. He then joined Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan (Israel) in November 2002.
He joined Besiktas Istanbul of the Turkish league in August 2003. Dominating the league for two seasons, El-Amin was second in scoring (20.9) and third in assists (5.2) in his first season. In 2005, he led the league in assists and averaged 20.4 points a game. He was named MVP of the Turkish League All-Star Game in 2005 and he was a member of the World Team at the 2005 FIBA Europe All-Star Game.

In June 2005, he started his first season with Azovmash Mariupol of the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague. Azovmash won the 2006 Ukrainian Championship, and El-Amin was named the MVP of both the regular season and playoffs.

In August 2007, he started his first season with Türk Telekom B.K. of the Turkish basketball league.
In October 2010, he signed a one-year contract with BC Lietuvos Rytas of the Lithuanian Basketball League.