Source: The HAND Foundation
In a city notorious for fanatic sports fans, Philadelphians are excited about Arsalan Kazemi, the first Iranian born basketball player to be drafted in the NBA. The twenty-three year-old second round draft pick out of the University of Oregon was selected by the Washington Wizards and immediately after traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He led the Oregon Ducks to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament and as a four year collegiate athlete he led the nation in rebounding.
The excitement over the 6’7’’ Isfahan native has been in the works since his arrival to the United States in 2008. He played one year at The Patterson prep school in North Carolina before being heavily recruited by college coaches. He played his first three years at Rice University in Houston, before transferring to the University of Oregon after receiving a hardships waiver from the NCAA due to alleged racism by Rice’s athletic director.
Despite Kazemi’s success on the basketball court he fully understands the political realities between Iran and the United States, “I try to represent my country as best I can...and show [people] who [Iranians] really are.” Representing Iran in the NBA as a goodwill ambassador is not Kazemi’s only challenge. As a second round draft pick, his contract with the 76ers is not guaranteed. He will have to earn a roster spot on the team, but after an impressive finish playing for the 76ers summer league team in Orlando, that does not seem like a major obstacle.
Arsalan Kazemi's Dunks
short highlights of Arsalan Kazemi's dunks in his senior year playing for the Oregon Ducks
... Payvand News - 08/21/13 ... --