For Abdul-Rahim, the success in getting his players and other students into college is a year-long effort. The 36-year-old husband and father of two spends most Sundays during the school year providing skills and development training for athletes at a practice field in Maryland. Through his D.C.-based nonprofit group, Positive Choices, Inc., he partners with organizations such as the anti-domestic violence group Becky’s Fund, the Military Bowl and Events DC throughout the year to provide programming aimed at teaching life skills and building character, not just muscles and on-the-field stats.
Abdul-Rahim is an affable man whose stature, demeanor and attire make him blend in very well among students. During the final weeks of the school year, clad in shorts and a T-shirt, he darts through hallways, stopping every so often to greet students with affirmations and requests — “Hey, come see me about what you’re gonna do this summer; I may be able to help,” or “Practice starts at 1 p.m.; make sure you’re on time.”