Iran center Haddadi optimistic about 2020 Tokyo

February 16, 2020 - 15:47

TEHRAN – Iran national basketball team center Hamed Haddadi is optimistic about getting good results in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Team Melli will represent Asia in the prestigious competition after 12 years. The Persians booked their place in China in September in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.  

In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, a young and relatively unknown Haddadi had a coming-out party in the world stage which opened an opportunity for him to play in the NBA.

He parlayed his impressive performance to an NBA contract with the Memphis Grizzlies after averaging 16.6 points while also leading the entire Olympic tournament with 11.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

“I know that we will have a difficult task in the Olympics but will do our best to get the good results. A total of the best 12 teams will be there but we also want to show we are a team to beat,” Haddadi said on the sidelines of the Iran basketball training on Sunday.

“We could have won eventual champions Spain in the 2019 FIBA World Cup but lost the match just in the final two minutes. We need maturity to keep leading in the competitions. You should not make mistakes against the big teams because they will punish you,” he added.  

Iran prepare to meet Syria and Qatar at the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Team Melli play Syria and Qatar on Feb. 20 and 23 in Tehran’s Azadi Hall in Group E.

“Our players have trained in the past four days and we are ready for the Asia Cup qualification,” Haddadi concluded.

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