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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Whither Jaber Rouzbahani?

I posted a few times in June on my thoughts on the 2004 NBA draft, and one of the interesting items I picked up was that two Iranian teenagers had declared for the draft -- Jaber Rouzbahani and Hamid Haddadi. Both withdrew from the draft, and both have really not been heard from since.

According to the International Hoops Network (a message board) and the next link, Rouzbahani played for an Oakland semi-pro team in some shoe company tournaments, had a "tryout" with the Phoenix Suns and played in the Asian games and fared rather well. Still, there has been no mainstream sports media coverage, which means that right now he's just another big guy with an interesting story and a dream.

Rouzbahani gets (much) more coverage in cyberspace than Haddadi (actually, if you Google Haddadi, one of my earlier posts comes up #19). That's not to say that they're not going to be good players, because both are still very young. From the reports that I read, both need to develop physically, become more flexible, work on their overall hoops skills. Depending on their work ethic and their athletic ability, they could have a chance.

Of course, there are tons of big guys out there who might be better suited to setting up transportation schedules, teaching batik, running a hedge fund for the Sultan of Brunei, acting on television (the guy who played "Lurch" on The Addams Family apparently hooped for Stetson at one point) or writing feature pieces on creative uses for tofu than playing basketball at the highest level. After all, if you don't have the talent, you won't make it to the NBA. Many people would have told 5'5" Nuggets guard Earl Boykins that he wouldn't have had a chance to earn a DI scholarship let alone a spot in the best hoops league in the world, but he made it. Point being, if your tall, you're no more likely to make it to the NBA than a short person is to be a Hall of Fame jockey getting the best rides at Churchill Downs, Pimilico, Belmont and Saratoga. You have to have the talent. Earl Boykins definitely has the talent. Each year there are tons of guys 7 feet or taller mentioned on the various websites who are interested in the NBA draft. Each year, most of those guys don't get drafted.

So, if you know anything more about the two tall Iranians who could help ease the tensions between Iran and the U.S. because of their basketball-playing ability, please post a comment. If you're one of the more enterprising readers out there, keep Googling and perhaps go to the 10th and 11th pages and beyond of the returns on Jaber Rouzbahani and try to find out where he's playing this winter.

Rouzbahani and Haddadi were a good story in the spring. They had their 15 minutes of fame.

The question is, will they have anything more than that?


Anonymous Hamid Ansari said...


My name is Hamid Ansari (23) I live in Denmark but work in the Netherlands as a engineer.

I have hear a lot and read a lot about Mr. Jaber and Mr. Hamid, it is such a great and warming story to hear that our nation Iran has such a great stars as Mr. Jaber and Mr. Hamid...

I Have played basketball since I was 8 years old and have acomplished a lot during the years. I am 7times youth champion, 3 state champion, 2 MVP and 4 U18 games for danish national team. The biggest highlight of all was when I meet Magic Johnson on my 21 birthday and played one on one with him till 11 and I managed to get 5point and he ended up wining.

I played in one of DK's best team called Horsens IC resently we won another champion titel.

I have played one year of Jr. college in st. missourri and I loved it but unfortunately I had to go back home to DK to do military service. After a year in the Danish army I injured my self and can no longer play basketball.

To Mr. Jaber and Mr. Hamid I would like to say keep up your head, the door is open you just have to be patient. Don't ever stop dreaming about a NBA contract I keept believing in playing ball in the us and that was my biggest dream ever to be accomplished.

You guys are representing something BIG for us Iranians in the rest of the world. You got royalty your dreams will come true.

I wish you all the best of the best, and I hope to see you soon in the NBA because I am going to be the first to buy your jersey with Rouzbahani and Haddadi on the back.

Gorbaneh shoma

Hamid Ansari

8:29 AM  
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10:28 PM  

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