Assigned Reading: N.C. State freshman has unique summer obstacle


As we get closer to college basketball’s tip-off, it means more writing about it. It also means talented ESPN feature writer Dana O’Neil can craft some must-read features.

O’Neil wrote an interesting feature this week as she profiles North Carolina State incoming freshman forward Malik Abdul-Abu.

RELATED: Rob Dauster’s feature on Abu’s final AAU season while fasting

As part of a highly-touted freshman class, Abdul-Abu has a lot on his shoulders going into the 2014-15 season. But during this summer, Abdul-Abu fasted during Ramadan, just like he has in the past.

It meant no food or drink during daylight hours, which is especially difficult during the July live evaluation period Abu faced the last two summers.

But it was still a tough summer.

From O’Neil’s story:

“Upon arriving at NC State, Abu chose to stick with his fast. It is not new to him, and frankly, this summer wasn’t even the toughest. The past two summers, the recruiting calendar’s live period coincided with Ramadan. For one month, with the eyeballs of college coaches assessing him, Abu would play three and sometimes four games a day without a thing to eat or, even tougher, a drop to drink.

“It’s like none other,” Abu said of the physical demands of the fast. “I think it’s more mental than anything else.”

This is a good read overall and I recommend it for a better look at the complete summer for Abu.