Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (born Chris Jackson on March 9, 1969 in Gulfport, Mississippi) is a world-renowned professional basketball player who grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi. He first caught the nation's attention in 1988 as a Louisiana State University (LSU) freshman sensation. That year he averaged 30.2 points per game, an NCAA record that stands to this day. In 1990, he entered the NBA after his sophomore year and was drafted 3rd overall by the Denver Nuggets. In 1991, he converted to Islam and took the same Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
By the 1995-1996 season, Abdul-Rauf was unmatched on the court, scoring 51 against the seemingly unbreakable Utah Jazz, 32 on Michael Jordan, and leading his team in both points and assists. It was shortly before this time that Abdul-Rauf decided he would no longer stand for the national anthem, viewing the American flag as a symbol of oppression and racism. The NBA temporarily suspended Abdul-Rauf, and soon he was traded to the Sacramento Kings, where he was kept on the bench much of the time. After his contract expired, he found himself shunned by every NBA team, effectively forced out of the league. Today, Abdul-Rauf plays in the BIG3 basketball league where he was named co-captain of his team and led them to consecutive playoff and semi-finals games. He continues to participate in many speaking engagements around the world encouraging people to stand up for their principles.