Kennesaw State University Director of Athletics Milton Overton recently announced the hiring of Cobb County’s own Amir Abdur-Rahim to a four-year contract as the seventh head coach in KSU men’s basketball history.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Amir Abdur-Rahim and his family back home to Cobb County and Kennesaw State University,” Overton said. “We believe that Coach Abdur-Rahim is the best fit to build the Kennesaw State basketball program into Cobb County’s team, because of the roots he has laid over the course of his life developing local basketball players into young men. He has the ability to raise the profile of KSU basketball, both locally and nationally.”
Abdur-Rahim grew up just a stone’s throw away from KSU, playing his prep career at Wheeler High School. A standout guard at Wheeler, he has a proven track record of winning as a player and as a coach, with 13 years of experience developing and recruiting talented athletes out of
Abdur-Rahim comes to Kennesaw State after a yearlong stint at the University of Georgia under head coach Tom Crean. Throughout his career, he has helped develop two NBA draft picks, in Robert Williams III from Texas A&M and Isaiah Canaan out of Murray State.
“This is a job I’ve always had my eye on,” Abdur-Rahim said. “When this position came open, I felt like the timing was perfect from a family, location, and opportunity standpoint. I felt that, being a first-time head coach, Kennesaw State provided a unique opportunity to build something special, and something that could be built to sustain over time. It’s a growing university, an amazing campus, great facilities, close-knit community, and then, with the recruiting base that we have in metro Atlanta and the surrounding areas, this is a place that has all the ingredients to be successful. I feel blessed and fortunate to be the head coach at KSU and I’m excited to get to work with our guys and help them grow as men.”
Prior to UGA, he spent four years as an assistant at Texas A&M (2014-18), helping lead the Aggies to three NCAA tournament bids, including two Sweet 16 appearances in 2016 and 2018. He helped orchestrate three 20-win seasons while at TAMU, helping the Aggies to a school record 28 wins in 2016. Texas A&M won a share of the SEC regular season title during that record season, the first for the program in 30 years.
Before moving to College Station, Abdur-Rahim served at the College of Charleston as an assistant from 2012-13 before being promoted to associate head coach for the 2013-14 campaign. The Cougars recorded an overall record of 38-29 during his two seasons, earning a 2013 CBI bid.
Abdur-Rahim also spent a year as Georgia Tech’s director of player development after five seasons at Murray State. While earning his master’s in organizational communication, he spent two years as a graduate assistant on the Racers’ staff, before being promoted to an assistant coach from 2008-11.
A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana, Abdur-Rahim was a three-time All-Southland Conference guard for the Lions, finishing his career ranked seventh for points scored and second for three-pointers made and steals. As a freshman at Garden City (Kansas) Community College, he ranked No. 24 nationally in scoring, averaging 19.1 points per game.
Married to Arianne Buchanan, Abdur-Rahim and his wife have two daughters, Laila and Lana. He is one of 13 children born to Deborah Hester and William Abdur-Rahim, and one of six brothers to play college basketball, including his older brother Shareef, who was a 13-year NBA veteran and is now the president of the NBA’s G-League.
“For over 20 years, Amir and his family have been invested in preparing kids for the opportunity to play college basketball,” Overton said. “Utilizing his brother’s foundation, he has helped shape youth in Cobb County through camps and clinics, with a mission of helping young kids in the area grow in the game of basketball and in life.”