Behnam Yakhchali, the Iranian National Point Guard who signed with Rostock Seawolves will head to Germany in the upcoming weeks.
Iran Basketball Federation; Tehran: The prominent player whose second foreign experience will soon commence in the Deutsch League has stated that his would change the world attitude to Iranian basketball. Following is an interview with Behnam Yakhchali:
**You entered the German league as the first Iranian basketball player.
Yes, and of course I’m happy about that. I have had experience in the Chinese league before. There were Iranian players in China but not in the German league. I consulted with my friends and with the help of my program manager Aydin Dianat, I decided to play in Germany. Anyway, I’m looking forward to experiencing the new conditions.
**Your presence in the German league can certainly introduce Iranian basketball to Germany and Europe.
Yes. Of course, the Olympic Games was a very good arena for the Iranian players to expose themselves though this did not happen. Now that I have the conditions to play in foreign leagues, I will do my best to change the world’s attitude to Iranian basketball so that everyone knows what extraordinary talents are in Iran.
**Do you think other players will be able to enter European leagues after your presence in Germany?
Bauermann (former head coach of the Iranian national basketball team and current head coach of the Rostock) talked to me about Iran. He highlighted that there is not a good image towards Iran due to negative propaganda but only those who have come to Iran and worked in this country will realize that these propagandas are all false. I will also be in Germany and prove that Iran is different from what they think and that Iranian players deserve to play on the big fields.
**Tell us about your new team? You were warmly welcomed.
The German league is held on several levels. The number of teams in these leagues is high and the quota for attracting foreigners is higher, also. My new team belongs to the city of Rostock, which is one of the northern cities of Germany. Fortunately, after publishing the news for joining to Rostock, I was warmly welcomed by the fans and the club.
**Have you ever worked with Bauermann? Tell us about your reunion? Bauermann is familiar with Iranian basketball; Is this in your favor?
Yes, I have several years of experience working with Bauermann in the national team. The way I know his past and the way he knows me will help me a lot and will be a merit to me. If I had not known him at all, the situation would have been a little difficult in the new atmosphere.
**Tell us about your experience in the Chinese league? How much do you think this experience can help you in your new team?
The situation in China was different because it was the first time I played outside and it took me a while to adapt myself to the conditions. Of course, pre-season games are held in China which helps a lot to prepare the players. Though, the situation in the German league is quite different.
**Did you practice during Coronavirus pandemic?
Yes. I have been training hard for two or three months to prepare for my goal. I will probably leave Iran in three weeks to get to pre-season training.
**What is the current situation in the German league? Has the probable date of the competitions announced?
The German league was the only country that did not stop its Premier League even during Coronavirus pandemic because they were able to control it. According to my information, this league will be held from the middle of October, almost coinciding with the beginning of the Iranian League. They have even mentioned that competitions are held in the presence of spectators, but nothing is clear yet.