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.
TEHRAN - Mehran Hatami has been named as head coach of the Iranian national basketball team. Hatami is a former basketball player of Iran national team. The 52-year-old coach represented Iran in 1990, 1994 and 1998 Asian Games, and FIBA Asia Championships in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997. The appointment came after Dirk Bauermann surprisingly parted company with the Islamic Republic of Iran Basketball Federation (IRIBF) in early January. The German coach took charge of S.Oliver Wuerzbu... [read more]
TEHRAN - Mehran Hatami has been named as head coach of the Iranian national basketball team. Hatami is a former basketball player of Iran national team. The 52-year-old coach represented Iran in 1990, 1994 and 1998 Asian Games, and FIBA Asia Championships in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997.
The appointment came after Dirk Bauermann surprisingly parted company with the Islamic Republic of Iran Basketball Federation (IRIBF) in early January. The German coach took charge of S.Oliver Wuerzburg, while who had signed a four-year contract extension until 2019 with Iran in November 2015. Bauermann sent an email to the IRIBF and said he stepped down from his role due to his three-year-old child. The Iranian federation immediately announced that Mehran Shahintab has been chosen as a replacement for the German coach but Petrochimi Bandar Imam coach didn't accept the offer. After coach Shahintab refuse the offer to work as Iran NT head coach federation appointed Mehran Hatami as Iran NT head coach. Iran NT camp will begin on Jan 21st to prepare for WABA championships which will help in Jordan.
2012. Donewald , arguably one of the most successful Chinese NT head coaches with a resume that included never losing to an Asian country while he was the front man and leadi... [read more]
In a stunning revelation, the Iranian media sources are claiming that the Iranian National Team has moved Coach Donewald Bob to the top of their coaching list.
This would be a huge hire for the Iranians and a direct shot at the under achieving Chinese National team, same team Donewald led to the London Olympics in 2012.
Donewald , arguably one of the most successful Chinese NT head coaches with a resume that included never losing to an Asian country while he was the front man and leading the 2010 Chinese team in the World Championships without Yao, and was able to get to the final 16 teams.
If rumors are true, Donewald will inherit one of the Chinas top competitors, and with Hamed Haddadi and a group of experienced players, and the coaching of Donewald , Iran would be the team to watch not China.
Donewald currently has a perennial underachieving club in the CBA, the Jilin Northeastern Tigers sitting only 3 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot, with a budget smaller then some NBL clubs.
Iranian Superleague round 14 best performance: Ivan Koljevic - 3 days ago
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187-PG-84) had a great game in the last round for Kashan, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 14. The 32-year old player was the main contributor (23 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) to his team's victory, helping them to beat Army (#8, 4-9) 85-74. Kashan maintains the 7th position in Iranian Superleague. Kashan is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. The... [read more]
Montenegrin Point guard Ivan Koljevic (187-PG-84) had a great game in the last round for Kashan, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 14. The 32-year old player was the main contributor (23 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) to his team's victory, helping them to beat Army (#8, 4-9) 85-74. Kashan maintains the 7th position in Iranian Superleague. Kashan is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 6-7 record. Koljevic turned to be Kashan's top player in his first season with the team. Ivan Koljevic has solid league stats. He is in league's top in points (2nd best: 23.0ppg), assists (2nd best: 5.0apg) and averages impressive 59.2% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 29-year old American J.P. Prince (203-G/F-87) of Azad. Prince had a very good evening with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Bad luck as Azad lost that game 66-73 to the higher-ranked Petrochimi (#1, 12-1). It was definitely game of the week between two contenders to the title. Azad still maintains its place in the top 4 of the standings, even despite this loss. His team's 8-5 record is not bad at all. Prince is a newcomer at Azad, but is already one of team's top players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 18.7ppg (#6). His other stats are also decent: 4.2rpg and 3.7apg.
Third on the list of top players last round was American guard Daequan Cook (195-G-87) of Chemidor (#6). Cook got into 30-points club by scoring 31 points in the last round. He went also for five rebounds . He was a key player of Chemidor, leading his team to a 85-79 win against the higher-ranked Arak (#3, 8-5). Chemidor needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 7 victories and 6 lost games. Cook has a great season in Iran. After only 7 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 25.3ppg (best scorer).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Gerald Robinson (185-PG-89) of Petrochimi - 22 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists 5. Povilas Cukinas (210-C/F-83) of Chemidor - 16 points and 13 rebounds 6. Masoud Soleimani (207-C) of Kashan - 23 points and 9 rebounds 7. Doron Perkins (189-G-83) of Naft Abadan - 11 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists 8. Hamzeh Aghajari (185-F-87) of Shiraz a.s Pipe - 26 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists 9. Sean Williams (208-F-86) of Tabriz - 16 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists 10. Zvonko Buljan (206-C-87) of Kashan - 24 points and 9 rebounds
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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