December 02, 2023

Iran's Hamed Haddadi fought through injury to return to FIBA World Cup, make sound investment


Hamed Haddadi’s name will forever be remembered in Asian basketball.

The 38-year-old big man, who played five seasons in the NBA as part of the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns, is now playing his fourth and final FIBA World Cup.

 But to be able to play in this edition of the tournament, Haddadi had to endure adversity after suffering a major achilles injury at the start of the year.

 "Recovery was so tough," Haddadi said in an article on the FIBA website. "My doctor, my family, my wife, they pushed me every day and I worked really hard to get back on the court.”

 It has been a solid campaign so far for the veteran Haddadi, averaging 9.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

 The four-time FIBA Asia Cup MVP, a familiar foe of Gilas Pilipinas, also continues to climb into the top five in all-time blocks leaders at the FIBA World Cup.

 While Iran has been relegated to the classification round of the tournament, Haddadi is making sure that everyone in the team is learning from this experience.

 "We're looking for the future," said Haddadi. "It's good for the young players to play against big teams and big players to get some experience to play a high level of basketball."

 "I tried to be here to push them all I could to play better. They're all good players, but have no experience,” he added.

 A new regime will begin for Iran with the departure of Haddadi, but his impact on Iranian basketball will have a lasting impact.

"I’m so proud to be here in the fourth World Cup to help my teammates and my team."