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Iranian star to join NBA galaxy

By Kambakhsh Khalaji

Tehran, Feb 13, IRNA -- Neither pigs flew nor the hell froze over, but an Iranian does join NBA within the next two months.

The Iranian tower is 7 feet 5 inches, 260 pounds, with an 8-foot wingspan.

He is a shot blocker with a soft shooting touch. He can grab the rim flat-footed and dunk on his tiptoe.

Giant Steps: Jaber Rouzbahani

Jaber Rouzbahani is from the historical city of Isfahan in Iran. Born on May 10, 1986, Rouzbahani started playing less than four years ago and now plays for Isfahan's Zob Ahan.

The Iranian teen played Yao Ming in an Asian tournament last year and held him to 15 points -- about half of what Yao was averaging in the tourney.

Rouzbahani played at the World Junior Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece, last summer in front of NBA scouts, averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds per game and an eye-opening 7 blocks, leading the entire tournament.

He worked with Ansar Alameen, an NBA skill development coach, last year.

His biggest obstacles are learning English and developing his body and skills.

What stands out most about Rouzbahani, besides the obvious size, is his infectious smile and a great personality, which shines through despite the language barrier.

"I underwent all NBA tests," Rouzbahani told IRNA Sunday adding "I have to register at San Francisco University to be able to play in NBA league. The enrollment takes me two months.

"My presence in NBA will help my teammates find their way into the world's most prestigious basketball league."

... Payvand News - 2/14/05 ... --

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