Ben Ahmed breaks record

Last March, when Mouhamed Dioubate spoke about becoming PSA’s all-time leading rebounder, he said he was going to enjoy it but also that he wouldn’t have the mark for long.

“Ben’s going to get it next year,” he said. “It’s cool now but Ben’s going to get it and go way past it.”

Dioubate’s foretelling came to fruition Thursday night, when Ben Ahmed grabbed his 11th rebound of the night and 677th of his career, moving him one ahead of Dioubate and into PSA’s record books.

“I wasn’t thinking about it until I saw the email that said I had a few rebounds to go to get the record,” Ahmed said. “But I talked to Moh about it last year too and I told him, ‘As soon as you leave, I’m breaking everything.’

“I learned so much from Moh, honestly. He was patient, he didn’t try to force things. He worked hard to get better every day and he taught me to do the same thing.”

Ahmed, a member of the Class of 2026, needed just 79 games to set the mark; Dioubate played 93 games in his career. Ahmed’s size certainly helps, as he is 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds and can just bully his way to the ball. But there is more.

“Every day, we work with Coach Nick (Schmidt) and he knows a lot about basketball,” he said. “He’s such a good coach, so I just listen to him and what he tells me and try to use it in practice to get better in the games. And it’s a hunger too. I know I have to bring something on the floor just to get minutes so I just try to rebound the ball every time.”

Ahmed has a strong chance to set other marks as well before this season ends. He is 60 points shy of becoming the fifth player in school history to score 1,000 in his career, he needs 84 more points to break the single-season scoring record of 651 held by Hami Diallo, and he needs only 50 more rebounds to break Rundell Mauge’s single-season record of 408.

PSA has one more regular season game, then at least two and as many as six postseason games. Ahmed averages 15.4 points and 9.7 rebounds this season.

“Ben has been a star since the first day he stepped on the campus of Putnam Science,” coach Tom Espinosa said. “I can’t believe the impact he’s had on the program since Day One. The future looks pretty scary for Big Ben.”


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