May 2, 2012
Rice freshman forward Ahmad Ibrahim has withdrawn from school and has announced his intention to return home to Lebanon and sign a professional basketball contract.
"Ahmad has an opportunity to purse a professional career in his home town and be closer to his family," Rice head coach Ben Braun said. "We appreciate his contributions during his time at Rice and we wish him success as he begins this new phase of his career."
Speaking to the Lebanon Daily Star about his decision, Ibrahim said he felt one season of NCAA basketball had prepared him for the next step.
"I think I had a good season. As a freshman, I wouldn't be asking for more, as I played with and against great players," Ibrahim said. "I gained valuable experience especially that I had to take to the court as starter for many games. My game improved so much, and I feel that I am now more capable, not only offensively, but defensively too. There are no specific reasons for that (his decision to leave Rice). I only feel that I am ready for the next step, which is playing professionally."
Ibrahim played in 33 games as a freshman, starting eight consecutive contests at one point during Conference USA play. He averaged 6.2 points for the season, with his high game coming when he tallied 23 points in a win over Tulane at Tudor Fieldhouse on January 28. He scored in double figures in seven games, including three times in Conference USA play.