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Loaded Iran World Cup pool full of marquee names
TEHRAN (Iran) - Iran are playing in their third straight FIBA Basketball World Cup this year, and they've made sure to call up a loaded pool to banner their national team.
Confirmed just today, the Islamic Republic of Iran Basketball Federation released the 19-man pool that will be training hard in preparation for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
|Iran 19-man national pool for 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup|
|Behshad Arabzadeh||Rouzbeh Arghavan||Aaron Geramipoor||Hamed Haddadi|
|Mohammad Hassanzadeh||Hamed Hosseinzadeh||Mohammad Jamshidi||Sajjad Mashayekhi|
|Rasoul Mozafari||Meisam Mirzaei||Navide Niktash||Samad Nikkhah Bahrami|
|Mike Rostampour||Navid Rezaeifar||Keyvan Riaei||Amir Sedighi|
|Sina Vahedi||Behnam Yakhchali||Arman Zangeneh|
Standing out are veterans Hamed Haddadi and Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, both of whom haven't played on the national team since Iran's home win over the Philippines in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers. They have, however, the most experience at the World Cup, having seen action for Iran in their first two appearances on the biggest stage of international basketball.
Not surprisingly, also included in the pool are Iran's other top performers from the Asian Qualifiers - Behnam Yakhchali, Meisam Mirzaei and Mohammad Jamshidi. Yakhchali and Jamshidi carried much of the scoring cudgels for Team Melli in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers, while Mirzaei held the fort in the paint in Haddadi's absence.
Iran have been drawn into Group C at the World Cup, with 2006 World Cup winners Spain, world 16th-ranked Puerto Rico and world 51st-ranked Tunisia.