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 (2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship) - Iran reclaimed their spot atop the continent by claiming the title at the 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship with a 71-65 victory over Japan. Mehran Rezaei led the way with 18 points for Iran while Mohammad Jafari scored 16 points and Amirhossein Rezaeifar picked up 10 points and 12 rebounds as Iran won their first FIBA Asia U18 crown since 2008. It was the country's third U18 title in all. Japan were in the U18 final for the first time since 1990... [read more]
TEHRAN (2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship) - Iran reclaimed their spot atop the continent by claiming the title at the 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship with a 71-65 victory over Japan.
Mehran Rezaei led the way with 18 points for Iran while Mohammad Jafari scored 16 points and Amirhossein Rezaeifar picked up 10 points and 12 rebounds as Iran won their first FIBA Asia U18 crown since 2008. It was the country's third U18 title in all.
Japan were in the U18 final for the first time since 1990 but failed to pick up their second championship trophy. The Japanese, who got 35 points from Keisuke Masuda, grabbed their second runners-up placing following 1970.
Jafari and Rezaei both nailed three-pointers to start the game and Iran led for nearly all of the first half, though they could only manage an 8 point lead. The hosts used the partisan Tehran crowd to take their first double-digit lead later in the third quarter.
The advantage was up to 19 points with 7 minutes left and the Tehran crowd could taste the title. Japan had a chance to make it a single-digit deficit with more than 4 minutes but Yuki Mikami missed his three-pointer. Japan did trim the gap down to 7 points inside the final 30 seconds but it was too little too late.
Korea meanwhile claimed the third step on the podium by racing past Lebanon 86-63 thanks to 26 points and 8 rebounds from Yang Jae Min. Park Jiwon chipped in 17 points for Korea, who secured a spot in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship along with Iran and Japan. It will be the fourth time in a row that Korea will take part in the U19 Worlds. It's the second straight third place finish for Korea after having reached the final in 2010 and 2012.
Lebanon got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Karim Zeinoun but failed to reach the podium for the first time since 2006's third place finish.
China rebounded from their Quarter-Final loss to Iran and picked up fifth place as they knocked off Chinese Taipei 76-70. Fan Ziming led the way with 31 points and 10 rebounds while Man Jiang chipped in 14 points. Chinese Taipei received 17 points from Chou Kuei-Yu.
Philippines locked up seventh place with a 67-64 win over India with Jolo Mendoza scoring 15 points and Fran Yu picking up 14 points. Vishal Kumar Gupta had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
Re-live the experience on the FIBA Asia U18 live feed.
Guizhou (NBL) signed experienced 35-year old American swingman David Young (196-81, college: N.C.Central). He played last season at Samen in Iranian Superleague. In only one game he recorded very impressive stats: 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. In 2004 Young was drafted by Seattle SuperSonics (NBA) in second round (41st overall). He attended N.Carolina Central and it will be his 13th (hopefully lucky) season in pro basketball. Young won Japanese JBL Superleague championship title in... [read more]
Guizhou (NBL) signed experienced 35-year old American swingman David Young (196-81, college: N.C.Central). He played last season at Samen in Iranian Superleague. In only one game he recorded very impressive stats: 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. In 2004 Young was drafted by Seattle SuperSonics (NBA) in second round (41st overall). He attended N.Carolina Central and it will be his 13th (hopefully lucky) season in pro basketball. Young won Japanese JBL Superleague championship title in 2009. He is quite experienced player. Young has played in nine different countries on four different continents (Europe, Asia, Latin America and of course North America). He has played previously professionally in Dominican Rep., France (Pau-Lacq-Orthez), Greece (Trikalla and A.G.O Rethymno Aegean), Hungary (Atomeromu), Italy (Banco di Srd and Scafati), Puerto Rico (Manati), Japan (Aishin Sea Horses), China (Jilin Tigers) and Dominican Republic (Caneros de La Romana). It's very possible he may end his playing career at Guizhou. Young could be described:
An explosive scorer on the inside and outside who can be a solid contributor. Defends very well has great attitude and toughness. The night he's really hot, he can dominate the game.
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