Identifying talents is the main key to Iran's rise: Ramin Tabatabaei

July 22, 2020 - 15:18

TEHRAN - Ramin Tabatabaei, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Basketball Federation (IRIBF), says that he main key to the country's rise has been their dedication to identifying talents at a young age.

"In 80s and 90s, the best performance of Iran's senior national team was placing fourth in Asia and the team used to be placed mostly among top 6-12 teams," Tabatabaei said in an interview with FIBA.

"From 2003, a new generation was introduced to the basketball world," Tabatabaei explained. "With the talent identification programs and great support, they could achieve more. Also, with good efforts and financial supports to continue the program, youth teams were formed and could both provide support for the seniors and attract enough attention and support from IRIBF to improve."

"Having a strong domestic league in three levels - Professional, 1 and 2 - with many foreign players and highly knowledgeable coaches as well as teaching and educational programs for domestic coaches have all greatly contributed to a more dynamic league and discovering and flourishing the potential of elite players," he added. "Not only leagues but also national competitions have kept basketball players active throughout the year."

"The same pattern for the leagues have applied to running leagues for other age ranges such as U18 and U16 professional leagues which direct these talents in the right path of progression."

The main key to Iran's rise has been their dedication to identifying talents at a young age. It is something that they have done well and are committed to continue doing.

"IRIBF has tried to first identify and then use the best practices, skills and experiences in modern basketball, also to advance the league and attract sponsors, and with increasing number of more than 50 teams in U18 and U16 leagues, increase the popularity of basketball in the country and also help boost up the fundamental skills in these age categories," explained Tabatabaei.

"Despite the limitations, sanctions and weak infrastructures in basketball which may have created issues to run all that we desire, we have tried to use the resources in the best possible way. We have great players in our U18 and U16 teams who have admirable achievements in Asian youth competitions. They have participated in many camps and international competitions and ranked among the top performers."

"Obviously, there are super talented people in some eras who can go the distance and become legends like Samad Nikkhah Bahrami and Hamed Haddadi," Tabatabaei said. "They will stay in the history of the country's basketball forever and may not be easy to replace. What IRIBF has always tried to do was to run country-wide talent identification programs to find the best talented players. By using the experience of these legends along with their best coaches and trainers, we train the younger generations to learn from the bests players alongside the best in order to become the best."

"The network of talent identification has tried to work with full potential and lead as many talented players into these networks. Not to replace the legends, but to create more and more like them in different generations," Tabatabaei concluded.

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