The 2014 NBA draft for the Philadelphia 76ers was headlined by their blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, where they dealt their all star point guard, Jrue Holiday, for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 (top-five protected) first round draft pick, which currently sits in the 8-10 range. They also drafted a guy, Michael Carter-Williams, who I think most of us know by now. That’s not all they did though.
With the 54th pick in the draft, the Washington Wizards selected the first-ever player from Iran to be drafted, Arsalan Kazemi. He is from the Middle-East, but he did spend four years in the United States playing college basketball. He played three years at Rice and then his final season at the University of Oregon. For his career in college, he averaged just about 12 points, 10 rebounds and two steals a game, shooting the ball WELL over 50 percent. He is labeled a hustle guy. Soon after the Wizard selected him, he was traded to the Sixers.
With the 53rd pick in the 2013 draft, the Houston Rockets drafted a fellow by the name of Furkan Aldemir, who is from Turkey. A year later, the Sixers made a trade for Royce White and his airplane phobia. He didn’t really last too long here in Philly. Also, a part of that deal, was Aldemir. Currently, he plays in the Turkish Basketball League.
Why am I telling you this? Well, they may never end up playing for the Sixers, but there’s one little thing; or actually two. They’ve killed it in their respective leagues and secondly, they’re property of the 76ers. That’s why I’m pouring this brilliance all over you.
In 19 games played for Petrochimi of the Iranian Super League this season, Kazemi is averaging 28.3 minutes a game, 13.1 points (59.1% shooting), 11.1 rebounds, and 2.2 steals.
In the 2011 U20 European Championship, Aldemir averaged 14.8 points, 15.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. He was also selected to the first team that year.
This isn’t meant to be an all-out player bio, but it is meant to open your eyes. We have two players overseas who have talent. Kazemi will most likely be on the Sixers’ roster next season, but Aldemir’s future is yet to be determined. Main objective: keep your eyes on them!