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01 Марта 2007 Журнал "FIBA Assist Magazine"

Виды спорта: Баскетбол

Рубрики: Профессиональный спорт, Персоны

Dioumassi: Discovering Iranian Civilization Through Basketball

Dioumassi: Discovering Iranian Civilization Through Basketball

Dioumassi: Discovering Iranian Civilization Through Basketball

The start of the millennium opened a new era in the world of Iranian basketball with the arrival of foreign players into the Iranian teams. Makan Dioumassi is one. The French national basketball team player turned down offers from his former club, the ASVEL Villeurbanne of Lyon and other major European teams to come to Iran and join Saba Battery. The 35-year old law graduate and Olympic silver medalist wanted to discover life beyond basketball.

Makan Dioumassi took a timeout to talk to FIBA correspondent Houman Bagheri, about his life, basketball and his experience of Iran.

FIBA: What brought you over to Iran despite very good offers from top European teams like Bologna?

DIOUMASSI: Yes, I did receive good offers from Italian, Spanish and Russian clubs. My own club offered me the position of their Sports Director. I had been playing basketball for 15 years and I knew I still wanted to continue, but not just for the money. I was interested in doing something completely different. I had always been fascinated by history and ancient civilizations. I was really interested in discovering more about them. So when I got the offer from Iran I thought “Well, why not?.”

FIBA: Among your offers were there any from other countries in this region?

DIOUMASSI: Yes, there were offers from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. I told you about my interest in ancient history and old empires, so it was important for me to come to Iran and see it for myself.

FIBA: Do you find that your social life is limited over here?

DIOUMASSI: No, not at all. I am discovering new things and new people everyday and as I said Iranians are very open and welcoming and at the same time traditionalists, because they are proud of their country. I am receiving an enormous amount of hospitality from my Iranian teammates. They are always very kind and nice to me, inviting me over to eat with them in their homes.

FIBA: Has any new experience you gained here changed you or your life?

DIOUMASSI: I feel like a message bearer now. My friends call me from all over the world and worry about my security in Iran. It’s because of the news they see and hear about Iran. But I reassure them that it’s not like that and ask them to come here and see it for themselves.

FIBA: Have you found any similarities between the Iranian and French cultures?

DIOUMASSI: They are very close and I know there are a lot of ties between the two nations. The Iranians think well of the French. People here also live very similar to people in France. In France we have a large immigrant community. I have a white French mother and a Black African father. So we have a lot of mixtures and Iran also has a lot of different communities, with Kurds, Turks, Armenians, Jews, Arabs and Persians making a very good mixture.

FIBA: What is your opinion of the Iranian Basketball?

DIOUMASSI: The positive point is that the Iranian basketball really has the potential to improve and become one of the leaders in the region. But the negative point is the lack of infrastructure and a wide gap between the first top four teams and the rest. There is also a shortcoming with the marketing of the sport. Even though tickets are free, there are not many people who come to watch the games. But, for football there are thousands who pay to go and watch a match.

FIBA: So what is your view of the Iranian spectators who do come to see the matches?

DIOUMASSI: They are very enthusiastic. Most of them are younger generation, but there are those who have been fans for long, too. However, it is not like in the West, where going to basketball matches is treated as a family outing. And this is something the Iranian Basketball Federation must work on.

FIBA: How has the Iranian basketball or playing here been a challenge for you?

DIOUMASSI: I had to adapt myself to the Iranian style of playing the game.

FIBA: So why didn’t you try to adapt others to your style?

DIOUMASSI: Well, I am just one single person, even though I do transfer my experience to the coaches and the other players.

FIBA: Did you encounter any obstacles while communicating or cooperating with your team mates?

DIOUMASSI: No, never. We are lucky in this respect. Players usually speak English so we never had any communication barriers. We never had any problems with cooperation either.

FIBA: You were born a Muslim. Have you learned anything more about Islam since living here?

DIOUMASSI: For me religion is something inside the heart. Muslims may vary their religious routines in different parts of the world. But what is important is that they are praying to the same God. And that is what one should keep in mind. Since I came to Iran I have begun reading different books and learning about the different ways Muslim denominations carry out their religious routines.

FIBA: How can sports bring countries with conflicts together? Can we have dialogue through sports?

DIOUMASSI: Yes, sports can create very strong links between people. When you play a sport you do not need to talk. You just pass the ball, you exchange it. Only in sports you can do this.

FIBA: Will you consider staying in Iran if you get new offers or do you prefer to go back to Europe?

DIOUMASSI: I will definitely stay more, because I feel good here. I am discovering the people and the country. I have been to Shiraz, but there are still many places left to see.

Помимо статей, в нашей спортивной библиотеке вы можете найти много других полезных материалов: спортивную периодику (газеты и журналы), книги о спорте, биографию интересующего вас спортсмена или тренера, словарь спортивных терминов, а также многое другое.

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