20/03/2019
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Team Melli newcomer Mike Rostampour to play for father's hometown of Abadan in Iranian Super League

ABADAN (Iran) - Mike Rostampour got a good taste of playing basketball in Iran during the last window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. His debut with the national team turned out to be a successful one as Iran were able to clinch a trip to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in front of their home crowd.

"My only friends are my Abadan teammates now."
- Mike Rostampour, Palayesh Naft Abadan

 

Less than a month later, Rostampour is now playing in Iran again - this time with Palayesh Naft Abadan Basketball Club in the Iranian Super League.

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Signed with @abadan_basketball Happy to return to my fathers hometown! ♥️🏀🙌🏽✊🏽

A post shared by Mike Rostampour (@officialrostampour) on

 

The climates of Abadan should be quite different from Rostampour’s hometown in Minnesota, but he shouldn’t have a problem adjusting with the experience playing overseas that he has. Moreover, the Iranian-American will get a good opportunity to be reconnected with his West Asian heritage.

“Abadan is my father’s hometown,” Rostampour says. “For me, playing with this club will be unbelievable. I know some of the players from Team Melli. Great guys and most importantly they are all winners.”

Rostampour has joined a strong Naft Abadan squad that finished in 4th place of the standings with an 11-5 record. Abadan features players from the national team including Mohammad Hasanzadeh, Saeid Davarpanah, and Aren Davoudichegani. Hassanzadeh has been averaging around 18 points and 13 rebounds as of the end of February and he has gotten much help down in the paint with the signing of Rostamour to the team as they make a push for a deep playoff run.

In Rostampour's first game with Abadan, he recorded 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals.

 

The 27-year-old Rostampour was solid in NCAA Division 1 with the Omaha Mavericks, averaging 9.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in his two years of stay. Then he embarked on a professional career across multiple continents over the next 4 years. Rostampour has gained valuable experience from playing in Slovakia, Canada, Mexico, and El Salvador which he is ready to share further on in Iran with Naft Abadan. He was able to win a championship with BC Prievidza in Slovakia during his rookie season and that has set the tone for how he approaches his career and how he plays.

"The biggest thing [about my game] is my leadership skills. No matter what happens during the game, teams I play on will always play hard. This is non-negotiable," Rostampour proudly claims. "I have been named team captain in both Mexico and El Salvador."

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👑

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"I have also been coached by Serbian and Croatian coaches. If anyone knows basketball, they know Balkan coaches get the most out of their players. Practices are hard both mentally and physically, but after every season I always realize how much I’ve grown as a person after being coached by these guys."

"I believe I can share this knowledge to my teammates."

Any added leadership and winning culture has been welcome to Naft Abadan. The proud club made back-to-back Iran Superleague Finals appearance in 2016 and 2017, losing both times to powerhouse and FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018 winners Petrochimi. Getting Rostampour should raise the chances for Abadan, but they will still be going up against tough competition. Petrochimi (15-1) are currently title favorites with a star-studded line up while Chemidor Tehran (14-2) aren’t far behind with just as much talent. Both teams have multiple players who starred on the national team alongside Rostampour, but that friendship has taken a pause in the club competition setting.

“Those guys are great players and people I would like to think of as friends. But as we all know playing for clubs is different.” Rostampour says. “I go into every game with a killer mindset and whatever it takes for my team to win.”

“My only friends are my Abadan teammates now.”

Winning the Iran Superleague would mean that Naft Abadan has a chance to keep on advancing and represent the country at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2019. Rostampour wouldn’t mind the challenge, but he’s more focused on one thing at a time at this moment.

“I live to play against the best competition. I know my teammates and I will do everything we can to accomplish these goals. However, I don’t like to think that far.

“I have “one day” tattooed on me for a reason.  All I care about is being the best I can be each and every day. If I can look in a mirror and say I did everything possible to be successful, I can live with the results no matter good or bad.”

FIBA