Here we have a catch-up interview with Behdad Sami (183-G-86, college: Linn Benton CC), who became the worlds first pro Iranian basketball player to play at any level in the USA when he signed with the Georgia Gwizzlies back in 2007. Since then, Behdad has played professionally in 4 countries as well as a couple other stints in the American Basketball Association, and NBA-DLeague workout camps prior to playing in Portugal last season.
How has your career progressed since it began in 2007?
Well, it has definitely been a tough road. No one sees the underdog story and especially what happens behind the scenes. Everyone always sees NBA players and it looks so magical, yet no one pays attention to the sacrifices, dedication, and tough route us overseas ball players take. Its not easy to just get up and leave, and be gone 6-9 months out of each year, but I do it to eventually reach my main goal of the NBA. Ive had some bumps in the road but I cannot complain. Im living my dream of playing basketball for a job, travel the world, and meet people who I consider friends, that I would have never knew existed.
What happened in Portugal? You started the season on a high note, but comparing stat wise to your previous years, it wasnt as good of a season.
Portugal was a roller coaster ride for me. I came in to a team who had just been moved up to the pro league. I wanted to bring all the leadership and skill to help them win as many games as possible. Prior to coming to Portugal, I was having difficulties with my shin, what I assumed was shin splits. Starting the season, I had a couple great games. I felt very comfortable with how I was playing and my stats at the beginning. As the season went on, my shin got progressively worse and it was to the point that before each game and practice, I was taking 4-6 ibuprofens each practice/game day. My shin started heavily affecting my gameplay. There were moments where I couldnt even jump a couple inches off my right leg. However, despite all the pain I was in, I practiced and played everyday and still gave my all. I dont make excuses for my gameplay, and I will admit, I had a bad season last year, but what basketball player hasnt had a bad season? Im looking forward to playing next season and playing the way I know I can, which is at the highest level.
Why didnt you play this 2011/12 season, any specific reason?
YES!!! Besides the NBA lockout domino effect, the main reason I couldnt play is my shin. As I mentioned before, my shin was terrible while I was in Portugal. Little did I know that the ENTIRE season in Portugal, I was playing on a broken shin! When I got back to Los Angeles, I went to one of the best soft tissue specialist in the nation and after a couple MRIs, CT-Scans, and X-rays, the results showed that I not only played my entire season in Portugal on an actual broken shin, but had 5-8 individual stress fractures to go along with it. The worst part was finding out that I could have actually snapped my shin in half and ended my career, thank God that didnt happen. Im currently being treated everyday and doing major physical therapy getting myself back to 100%. Due to this injury, I had to turn down deals from Germany, Mexico, and a couple other countries this last year. I didnt want to play and risk not only having a bad season, but having a career ending injury.
So what are your plans now? What will you do once your shin is healed?
The most important thing is that Im 100% healthy before I contact agents and teams. I want to be able to give them 100% of me and not be limited to what I can do. Im currently feeling better everyday and will be season ready by July and I plan on making a huge comeback, not only for myself, but for my career. I dont like the stats I put up last year especially when I know I can play 10x better than that, broken shin or not. My goal is to get signed to a high level team, and do what I know I can, which is help lead my team to victory. I plan to keep working hard and taking it day by day until I get my chance to get back out there and eventually get to the NBA stage.
Chemidor Tehran (Superleague) agreed terms with 29-year old American guard Daequan Cook (195-95kg-87, college: Ohio State). He played last season at Sport Lisboa Benfica in Portuguese LPB league. In 37 games he was fourth best scorer with impressive 17.8ppg and averaged 2.8rpg and 2.2apg. Cook helped them to win the Supercup and end the regular season at the top position. Quite impressive season as he was named to Portuguese LPB All-Star Game, All-Star Game 3-Point Shootout and All-Newcom... [read more]
Chemidor Tehran (Superleague) agreed terms with 29-year old American guard Daequan Cook (195-95kg-87, college: Ohio State). He played last season at Sport Lisboa Benfica in Portuguese LPB league. In 37 games he was fourth best scorer with impressive 17.8ppg and averaged 2.8rpg and 2.2apg. Cook helped them to win the Supercup and end the regular season at the top position. Quite impressive season as he was named to Portuguese LPB All-Star Game, All-Star Game 3-Point Shootout and All-Newcomers Team. Cook also played 6 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he had very remarkable stats: 20.0ppg, 4.2rpg and 2.2apg. The previous (14-15) season Cook played at SPO Rouen in French ProA. In 32 games he was fifth best scorer with high stats: 15.9ppg and recorded 3.7rpg, 1.8apg and 1.0spg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to French ProA All-Star Game. In 2007 Cook was drafted by Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) in first round (21st overall). The former Ohio State staris in his tenth season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Cook won NBA Western Conference championship title in 2012. He was also voted All-Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year back in 2007 at his college time. Cook is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Germany (Walter Tigers), Ukraine (Budivelnyk), NBA (Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder) and D-League (Iowa Energy). On Cook:
(by Matthew Maurer for NBADraft.net in 2007)
Explosive scorer who can reel off big points in a hurry. Above average upper body strength and body control which enables him to finish after contact. Possesses legit three point range on his jumper. Unselfish and shows solid court vision to get teammates involved in the offense. Is a good athlete who contributes on the boards nightly. Has the ball handling ability and quick first step to break his man down on drives. Excellent finisher in transition and can end plays in dramatic fashion.
Has a tendency to force shots when opposing defenders pressure him on the perimeter. Has tremendous confidence in his offensive ability which can make him a little trigger happy when the ball is in his hands.
Sagesse inks Sean Williams, ex Tabriz - 3 days ago
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Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (Pepsi LBL) signed 30-year old American forward Sean Williams (208-107kg-86, college: Boston). He started the season at Shahrdary Tabriz in Iranian Superleague. In 5 games he had 14.4ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.6apg, 1.0spg and 3.0bpg this season. The last season Williams played at Konyaspor in Turkish BSL where in 22 games he recorded 9.8ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.4apg and 2.2bpg. In 2007 he was drafted by New Jersey Nets (NBA) in first round (17th overall). The former Boston standouti... [read more]
Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (Pepsi LBL) signed 30-year old American forward Sean Williams (208-107kg-86, college: Boston). He started the season at Shahrdary Tabriz in Iranian Superleague. In 5 games he had 14.4ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.6apg, 1.0spg and 3.0bpg this season. The last season Williams played at Konyaspor in Turkish BSL where in 22 games he recorded 9.8ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.4apg and 2.2bpg. In 2007 he was drafted by New Jersey Nets (NBA) in first round (17th overall). The former Boston standoutis in his tenth season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he won NBA Atlantic Division championship title in 2012. Williams was selected to Turkish League All-Star Game in 2015. He is quite experienced player. Williams has played in seven different countries on three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America). He has played previously professionally in China (Fujian and Guangzhou Liu Sui), Israel (Maccabi Haifa), Puerto Rico, NBA (Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets), Lithuania (Aukstaitija) and D-League (Texas Legends and Delaware 87ers). Williams could be described:
(by Matthew Maurer for NBADraft.net in 2007)
Athletically Williams has few peers with his leaping ability and quickness. Extremely mobile player who runs the court with ease and has no problems getting out on the break. One of the best shot blockers in college where he has great natural instincts. Possesses all the physical tools to excel, long wingspan, quick hands, timing and the ability to produce multiple jumps in succession. Offensively Williams has improved greatly adding a solid jump hook and decent turnaround with his back to the basket.
His work ethic and commitment to basketball are very much in question, and his dismissal surely cost his draft stock consideerably ... Doesnt always play the game with intensity often its not uncommon for him to get out worked by players with lesser talent.
Kardoust's double-double lands him Player of the Week award - 4 days ago
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30-year old center Asghar Kardoust (212-C-86) had an amazing evening in the last round for Arak and receives a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 6. He had a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds, while his team beat Kashan (#8, 2-4) 91-77. Arak maintains the 4th position in Iranian league. They would have been even better if they did not have these two lost games earlier in Regular Season. Arak will need more victories to improve their 4-2 record. It's Kardoust's sec... [read more]
30-year old center Asghar Kardoust (212-C-86) had an amazing evening in the last round for Arak and receives a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 6. He had a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds, while his team beat Kashan (#8, 2-4) 91-77. Arak maintains the 4th position in Iranian league. They would have been even better if they did not have these two lost games earlier in Regular Season. Arak will need more victories to improve their 4-2 record. It's Kardoust's second year at Arak and it's hard to imagine this team without him. Kardoust has impressive league stats. He is in league's top in rebounds (3rd best: 9.8rpg) and averages solid 1.2bpg and 72.9% FGP.
Second best performed player last round was Arsalan Kazemi (200-SF-90) of Army. He is former international in his first season at Army. In the last game Kazemi recorded impressive double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. Bad luck as Army was edged by slightly higher-ranked Chemidor (#6, 3-3) 73-71. This loss caused Army to drop to 7th position in the standings. His team is not often considered as one of the league's best with a mere 2-4 record. Kazemi is a newcomer at Army and quickly became one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 16.3ppg (#8). He also registered 12.8 boards per game.
Third place about best performers goes to Rawle Marshall (201-SF-82) of Gorgan (#9). Marshall scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He was a key player of Gorgan, leading his team to a 79-72 win against Shiraz a.s Pipe (#10, 0-6). Gorgan can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have rather bad season and 1-5 record places them close to the bottom of the standings. Too bad for Marshall he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. The season just started for Marshall as he played only first game. But it already looks like he can be team's leader.
Other top performing players last week: 4. J.P. Prince (203-G/F-87) of Azad - 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists 5. Meisam Mirzaei (210-C-92) of Naft Abadan - 24 points and 11 rebounds 6. Arsalan Kazemi (200-SF-90) of Army - 16 points and 9 rebounds 7. Amir Sedighi (203-F-93) of Chemidor - 27 points and 6 rebounds 8. Joseph Jones (206-C/F-86) of Azad - 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists 9. J.P. Prince (203-G/F-87) of Azad - 22 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists 10. Quinton Hosley (201-F-84) of Arak - 24 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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