Iranian Olympic basketball player signs with U.S. team

August 31, 2008

MEMPHIS (AKI) -- Iranian basketballer, Hamed Haddadi, who represented his national team at the Beijing Olympics, will become the first Iranian to play with the NBA in the United States.

The 2.18 meter player has signed a contract to play with the Memphis Grizzlies for the next NBA season.
Haddadi led all 2008 Olympians in rebounding and blocks and was the only player to average a double-double -- 16.6 points and 11.2 rebound blocks in the five games he played for the Iranian team in Beijing.
The 23-year-old, who comes from the southwestern city of Ahvaz, had his best performance against the eventual bronze winner, Argentina.
Haddad has signed a contract with the Memphis team.
He spent the 2007-2008 season playing for Saba Battery BC in the Iranian Super League.
The Grizzlies have apparently overcome legal restrictions that limit Iranians from working in the U.S.
“We are pleased to sign Hamed,” said Chris Wallace, Grizzlies' manager and vice-president of bastketball operations.
“He is a young centre who was very productive as a rebounder, shotblocker and scorer at the Rocky Mountain Revue Summer League in Salt Lake City.
“Our coaching staff are eager to begin working with Hamed.”
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