Hamed Haddadi (Persian: حامد حدادی, born May 19, 1985 in Ahvaz) is an Iranian professional basketball player with the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays at the center position and is 2.18 m (7’2″) tall and weighs 280 lbs. Haddadi is the first Iranian to play in the NBA.
Career in Iran
Haddadi played in the Iranian Basketball Super League with Paykan and Saba Battery. In August 2007, while still playing in Iran, he rejected a contract offer from the Serbian League team Partizan Belgrade. In 2008, he won the Asian Club Championship.
Haddadi received offers from NBA teams prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics and stated he would sign with a team after the games. Complications existed because of legal restrictions regarding business dealings between U.S. companies and Iranian citizens. On August 28, 2008, Haddadi signed with the NBA club the Memphis Grizzlies as a free-agent. Haddadi scored four points in 17 minutes of action in his first NBA preseason game, an October 7, 2008 loss at the Houston Rockets.
Haddadi averaged 1.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 9.7 minutes in six preseason games with the Grizzlies, and made his regular season debut on December 30, when he played 4 minutes in a loss against the Phoenix Suns, hitting both of his free throws and grabbing one rebound.
On November 25, 2008, Memphis assigned Haddadi to the Dakota Wizards of the NBA D-League. On Tuesday, December 23, Haddadi was recalled by the Grizzlies. Haddadi scored a career-high 10 points, with 8 rebounds and a block in less than 10 minutes to key a 12–0 run in the 4th quarter, sparking the Grizzlies to a come-from-behind victory at the Golden State Warriors on March 30, 2009.
Iranian national team
|Competitor for Iran|
Haddadi won a silver medal at the 2002 Asian Under-18 Championship and a gold medal at the 2004 Asian U20 Championship while playing on Iran’s junior national teams. He won gold medals at the 2004 and 2005 West Asian Championships with the senior Iranian national basketball team.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he led the tournament with the highest average blocked shots per game and rebounds per game, the latter by a wide margin.
Haddadi was involved in a brawl in the 2009 William Jones cup against team Jordan, which was a vital game in the cup. It later led to the outcome of the championship where Iran won despite having a 6–2 standing while Jordan had a 7–1 record.
Haddadi led team Iran to back-to-back FIBA Asia championships, where they beat Jordan in the semifinals 77–75, and defeated tournament favorite and host China, 70–52.
Off the court
In September 2009, Haddadi hosted a weekend basketball camp for children on the campus of California State University, Northridge. The camp catered mainly to the Iranian American community, and coaches included Haddadi himself, his manager, Mayar Zokaei, Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest, and Iranian professional basketball players Behdad Sami and Benny Koochoie, amongst others. The camp attracted over 120 children and was the first sports camp ever by an Iranian athlete.
Haddadi also spearheaded the Hamed Haddadi Javanan Foundation, a charity organization formed with the intention of awarding college scholarships to student athletes across the nation.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|