Since I live in Duckville, Eugene, Oregon it is hard to avoid anything sport related. With the University of Oregon Football stadium, Hayward Field to the new Matthew Knight Arena, sports are sacred in this town.
I have attended many football, volleyball and basketball games especially when they were in the old MacArthur Court.
This year Oregon was fortunate to attain Arsalan Kazemi, 6’7″ Iranian Native and Power forward for the team. He is a rebounding machine and all around great basketball player. He is also the first Iranian player to be in Division 1 men’s basketball in the U.S. On an article by NPR.ORG he states perfectly “Obviously a lot of people see the news on the TV,” Kazemi said during a locker room interview with the press on Friday. “I try to be very humble. I try to represent my country as best as I can and play sport as best as I can and show people who I am.”
Kazemi played there three years. Last season he was one of several players who chose to leave the program. He never stated publicly why — although it was revealed there were allegations of racial discrimination, which Rice strongly denied.
Regardless of happened there, Kazemi says he has had unpleasant experiences in his life as an athlete traveling around the U.S. He says he’s been called a “terrorist,” but tries not to listen. “I just try to focus between the lines,” he says.
They have a big match up against the Louisville, Cardinals on Friday but I have no doubt I will be cheering on the ducks and especially have my fingers crossed for Kazemi.
It is exciting to me to have an Iranian born basketball star representing the University of Oregon. He seems to be a most humble man and I can relate with some of the harassment he has had to deal with, but, his on a much larger scale since he is so publicly known.
My dad is also so excited, as he is a University of Oregon Alumni who graduated with honors in Architecture. He came to Oregon just for the excellence of the school.