PHILADELPHIA–Greenwood Blue Jay product Aminu Mohammed will start his NBA journey with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philly did not draft the forward, but signed him to a free-agent deal that will give Mohammed his shot at an NBA dream.

The NBA Draft has the pomp and pageantry of the NFL and Major League Baseball drafts.

Unlike those, it consists of only two rounds, just 58 players were drafted.

Players like Greenwood product Aminu Mohammed were left out.

“and that wraps it up for the 2022 NBA draft.”

But just hours after the draft ended in Brooklyn, the Philadelphia 76ers signed Mohammed to a free-agent contract.

Before the draft, the 20-year-old told us he was prepared to go undrafted and sign a free-agent deal.

“It feels good whichever way the situation goes. Hopefully, I get called. But if I don’t get called it doesn’t stop. You have to keep fighting,” said Aminu Mohammed.

The 76ers started the draft with only one pick after trading their other pick to Brooklyn in February.

So when it was Philly’s turn at 23, the Sixers drafted David Roddy from Colorado State and then traded him to Memphis.

That meant the 76ers drafted no players Thursday night.

Aminu Mohammed was one of three free agents that Philadelphia signed right after the draft.

“These organizations know your game. Before you come in they’ve watched film. They know your game. And get to know you as a player. How you react and things like that,” said Mohammed.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound forward worked out with ten different NBA clubs, but none of those was Philadelphia.

Mohammed did take part in the combine.

Regardless the 76ers signed the forward to an Exhibit 10 contract.

That means he gets invited to training camp.

He could also be invited to play in the summer league which starts next month.

Not bad for a kid who arrived from Nigeria just six years ago.

And played his high school basketball at Greenwood here in Springfield.

“This whole draft process has been great. A great experience, having the opportunity to be here and be invited to these different workouts. Meeting different people and different organizations. Getting to know them and them getting to know me has been a blessing. And it’s been fun,” said Mohammed.

Past Ozarks-area players who’ve made the trip to the NBA include MSU-alum Alize Johnson, who was drafted 50th in 2018 and another MSU alum, Keandre Cook, who signed with the Charlotte Hornets in the 2020 pre-season and went on to play for their G-League affiliate the Greensboro Swarm.