By Jake Durocher ’18, Staff Writer, The Willistonian
Aboooood! This is how senior basketball player Abdulraheem Abuissa is greeted everyday as he walks to class with a smile on his face.
“It is hard to find Abood not in a good mood,” Senior Jack Phelan said. “With a constant smile and same greeting every time, ‘what’s up man?’ there is nothing you can’t like about him.”
Williston is a long way from home for the basketball standout; Abood is from Doha, Qatar. “Every break I am lucky enough to go home and see my family,” Abood said. “At the very least I will be able to see my dad in New York on the weekends, because he works there a lot.” Abood knows how lucky this is for an international student, and does not take this for granted.
Despite the distance from home, Abood’s path to Western Massachusetts was pretty simple. “I was recruited for a school in Florida but I wanted something stronger academically,” he told The Willistonian. “The scout knew coaches at University of Hartford where the connection with coach Farmer was made, and therefore lead me to Williston”
Abood has made the most of his time here at Williston by taking part in athletic performance in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in the spring.
“I love track,” said Abood, who does high jump and serves as the team captain. “It’s quiet and fun and a step back from basketball. Starting with no experience, it was fun to see myself grow, because I don’t see that in basketball as much anymore.”
This is Abood’s second year at Williston, and he has plenty of motivation going into this season; after missing half of last year with a knee injury, he is more than ready to get things going.
“It was bad but I think it helped me a lot,” Abood said of his injury. “I took a step back and was able to grow a lot from it.” After tweaking his knee, Abood was out on crutches for the last month of athletic performance and the first half of the basketball season. “I could see a lot of the things on the court that I applied to my game,” he noted. “With plenty of time in the weight room recovering, I feel a lot more strong and skilled for this season.”
Duncan LeXander, one of Abood’s closest friends and teammates, had great things to say about his old roommate. “We have the same personality,” Duncan said. “We are both laid back and easy going, but there is never a dull moment when we are together.”
Abood and Duncan’s first interaction came over social media the summer before they both came to Williston. “He found out that I was his roommate,” Duncan said, “so he DM’d me on Instagram and our first time meeting was move in day. Right off the bat we could be ourselves around each other.”
Their friendship off the court is just half the story. This bond is put to the test; as teammates for all three sports seasons, Abood and Duncan interact quite a bit. “Abood is an awesome teammate, one of the best supporters at this school,” Duncan said. “Even during his injury, he played a huge role for the team.”