By Jason Hendrix
For The Fayette Tribune
As a former student-athlete and now a student assistant coach with the WVU Tech men’s basketball team, Doma “Major” Ibrahim has been an integral part of the Tech community for the last two-plus years.
After spending two years at Garrett (Maryland) College, Ibrahim transferred to WVU Tech as a criminal justice major and has taken his off-court life and classroom materials and experiences to practice in a field-based internship with the Montgomery Police Department this semester.
Under the supervision of Police Chief John Kauff, the Abuja, Nigeria native has been engulfed in the day-to-day operations of the law enforcement world since Jan. 1. While his main emphasis is observation, the fifth-year senior currently participates in “ride-a-longs, the department’s daily routine including everything from traffic stops to crime investigation,” according to Kauff.
“Our ultimate goal is to expose [Ibrahim] to every real life law enforcement scenario that we can,” Kauff added. “We hope to be as hands-on as possible without getting in harm’s way. Whether that starts with the initial emergency calls, investigation, transporting to jail, or obtaining and carrying out warrants, we believe this opportunity will equip him with everything he needs to be successful after graduation.”
Ibrahim, who is president of the criminal justice club, carries many responsibilities and encounters several opportunities throughout his day that make an impact on the Tech community.
His typical day starts out with a 6 a.m. personal workout in the wellness center. “I believe it’s important to start your day out with training followed by a full breakfast,” said Ibrahim. “While I am not actively on the team in my role as a student assistant coach, it is very important that I keep my level of fitness and play at its height for whatever opportunity may come, whether it be with a semi-professional or professional basketball team, as a coach, or in law enforcement.”
After his workout and meal, Ibrahim returns to the Neal D. Baisi Center to conduct individual workouts with current men’s basketball players, then he heads to class before returning back to the Baisi Center for team practices and conditioning. When practice sessions conclude, he joins the student-athletes in team meals, study hall sessions or tutoring.
“Major has been a great asset to our department,” Kauff said. “Most departments are small and close because we rely on each other [for backup], so having someone who is well connected to Tech as well as the community goes a long way.”
Ibrahim believes one of his greatest challenges is finding a balance between his academic and athletic life and his personal life.
“While my relationships with the student body and the community are and always have been on a friendly and helpful basis, there comes a point of separation where I have to be professional where when push comes to shove I have to stand my ground and stand up for what is just and right in the sight of the law,” he said. “While the friend-base might change, the respect and admiration will grow throughout the community.”
Ibrahim’s goals in the criminal justice field include “going into any opportunity where I can help others. Based off my past and my upbringing in a foreign land and being treated with so much love, help and hospitality, I want to be able to pay that back ten-fold to those who where there along the way. I want to be a leader, someone who guides and directs but also is encouraging and service oriented in everything I do.”
As part of his internship, Ibrahim is working hand-in-hand with the MPD’s development of the new Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit attachment that will be based at the Tech Marina and will be an extension of the city’s current river patrol program.
(Hendrix is the WVU Tech sports information director.)