Iranian Basketball History

The Britannica Encyclopedia marks the year of arrival of basketball in Iran by 1901. But what is certain is that the first signs of the arrival of basketball to Iran were seen in 1931 and 1932 which were also by the staff of foreign embassies in Iran.
In 1935, a sports coach named “Fereydoun Sharifzadeh” founded basketball and introduced it to the students of Alborz High School (Alborz College) in Tehran, and little by little other sports coaches began to develop and teach this sport. In 1945, the Iranian National Basketball Federation was formed and the first appearance of Iranian basketball in international events was at the London Olympics (1948). The Iranian national basketball team is the name of the official senior team that represents Iran in world and international basketball competitions. The national basketball team of Iran operates under the auspices of the Basketball Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In recent years, basketball in Iran has grown. The biggest success of the national team before participating in the Asian Cup (2007) was its brilliant performance at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha where Iran won bronze medal after 50 years. The Iranian team finally won the Asian Cup in the Asian Nations Basketball Cup (2007), defeating all Asian teams and qualified for the Olympics for the second time in fifty years.

2007 FIBA Asia Championship

Placed in the dreaded “Group of Death” alongside China, the Philippines, and Jordan, the Iranians won all three group matches to make it to the next round.
In the quarterfinals, Iran went 2–1, to make it to semifinals, following victories over Chinese Taipei and Qatar, and then routed Kazakhstan, 75–62, in the semifinals.
The Iranians then beat Lebanon 74–69, with Hamed Haddadi scoring 31 points. Not only did it avenge an 82–60 defeat in the quarterfinals, they also became the first Western Asian team to win the tournament, and thus make it to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games

In being crowned the 2007 Asian Champions, the Iranians qualified for the 2008 Beijing games for the first time in 60 years. The Olympic experience led to a flurry of opportunities for the Iranian players, as they traveled across the world in preparation for the games, including a visit to the US. Iran was placed in Group A, along with Lithuania, Russia, Argentina, Croatia, and Australia, suffering five defeats. The Olympic experience opened doors for players such as Hamed Haddadi, and Iranian captain Samad Nikkhah Bahrami to play in the NBA (National Basketball Association) and sign in the top French League.

2009 FIBA Asia Championship

Winning the FIBA Asia Championship 2009 at Tianjin, China, was a sign on continuing progress in basketball. Iran defeated China, by a score of 70–52 in the final.

2010 FIBA World Championship

Iran’s second consecutive FIBA Asia Championship gave them their first ever FIBA World Championship berth, at the 2010 FIBA World Championship. The team finished 1–4 in Group B, good for 19th place.

2013 FIBA Asia Championship

Winning the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship at Manila, Philippines, was a sign that the Iranian team has forgot the tragedy of their loss to Jordan in last tournament, 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, and reclaimed the top place in the FIBA Asia. Iran defeated the charged up hosts Philippines by an 85-71 win in the final. Iranian center Hamed Haddadi, who played a stellar role in Iran’s triumph at the 27th FIBA Asia Championship, became the most accomplished individual player of the competition winning two awards, including that of the MVP. Iran was the only team with two awards in the All Stars with Oshin Sahakian named for the Power Forward position.

2014 FIBA World Championship

Iran’s third FIBA Asia Championship gave them their second FIBA World Championship berth, at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Iran in Summer Olympics

Year Rank Pld W L
Germany 1936 Did not enter
United Kingdom 1948 14th place 7 2 5
Finland 1952 Did not enter
Australia 1956
Italy 1960
Japan 1964
Mexico 1968
West Germany 1972
Canada 1976
Soviet Union 1980
United States 1984
South Korea 1988
Spain 1992 Did not qualify
United States 1996
Australia 2000
Greece 2004
China 2008 11th place 5 0 5
United Kingdom 2012 Did not qualify
Brazil 2016
Japan 2020 Qualified
France 2024 Future events
United States 2028
Total 3/20 12 2 10

Iran in FIBA World Cup

Year Rank Pld W L
Argentina 1950 Did not enter
Brazil 1954
Chile 1959
Brazil 1963
Uruguay 1967
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1970
Puerto Rico 1974 Did not qualify
Philippines 1978 Did not enter
Colombia 1982 Did not qualify
Spain 1986
Argentina 1990
Canada 1994
Greece 1998
United States 2002
Japan 2006
Turkey 2010 19th place 5 1 4
Spain 2014 20th place 5 1 4
China 2019 23rd place 5 2 3
Philippines Japan Indonesia 2023 Future event
Total 3/18 15 4 11

Iran in FIBA Asian Cup

Year Rank Pld W L
Europe
Turkey 1959 17th place 7 1 6
Asia
Philippines 1960 Did not enter
Taiwan 1963
Malaysia 1965
South Korea 1967
Thailand 1969
Japan 1971
Philippines 1973 5th place 10 4 6
Thailand 1975 Did not enter
Malaysia 1977
Japan 1979
India 1981 8th place 7 3 4
Hong Kong 1983 5th place 6 5 1
Malaysia 1985 8th place 6 2 4
Thailand 1987 Did not enter
China 1989 5th place 7 4 3
Japan 1991 6th place 8 4 4
Indonesia 1993 4th place 6 4 2
South Korea 1995 10th place 8 5 3
Saudi Arabia 1997 8th place 7 3 4
Japan 1999 Did not qualify
China 2001
China 2003 5th place 7 4 3
Qatar 2005 6th place 8 4 4
Japan 2007 Champions 8 7 1
China 2009 Champions 9 9 0
China 2011 5th place 9 8 1
Philippines 2013 Champions 9 9 0
China 2015 3rd place 9 7 2
Lebanon 2017 Runners-up 6 5 1
2021 Future event
Total 17/29 130 87 43

Iran in Asian Games

Year Rank Pld W L
India 1951 3rd place 4 2 2
Philippines 1954 Did not enter
Japan 1958
Indonesia 1962
Thailand 1966 7th place 7 3 4
Thailand 1970 7th place 8 6 2
Iran 1974 6th place 7 3 4
Thailand 1978 Did not enter
India 1982
South Korea 1986
China 1990 7th place 6 3 3
Japan 1994 8th place 6 2 4
Thailand 1998 7th place 6 2 4
South Korea 2002 Did not enter
Qatar 2006 3rd place 8 5 3
China 2010 3rd place 8 6 2
South Korea 2014 Runners-up 7 6 1
Indonesia 2018 Runners-up 4 3 1
China 2022 Future events
Japan 2026
Total 11/18 71 41 30

Iran in FIBA Asia Challenge

Year Rank Pld W L
Chinese Taipei 2004 Qualified but withdrew
Kuwait 2008
Lebanon 2010 6th place (B) 7 3 4
Japan 2012 Champions 7 7 0
China 2014 Champions 7 6 1
Iran 2016 Champions 8 8 0
Total 4/6 29 24 5

Iran in West Asian Championship (WABA)

Year Rank Pld W L
Lebanon 1999 4th place 4 1 3
Lebanon 2000 4th place 4 2 2
Jordan 2001 3rd place 4 2 2
Jordan Iran 2002 Runners-up 4 3 1
Iran 2004 Champions 4 4 0
Lebanon 2005 Champions 4 4 0
Jordan 2008 Did not enter
Iraq 2010 Champions (B) 3 3 0
Iraq 2011 Champions 3 3 0
Jordan 2012 Runners-up 5 4 1
Iran 2013 Champions 3 3 0
Jordan 2014 Runners-up (U18) 5 4 1
Jordan 2015 Did not enter
Jordan 2016 Champions 4 4 0
Jordan 2017 Runners-up 5 4 1
Total 13/15 52 41 11