24 - 30
June 2022
9 Simel Alahmar (SYR)
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Simel Alahmar: Stronger than ever with more love for the game after devastating injury

AMMAN (Jordan) - Simel Alahmar idolizes two of the greatest to ever lace them up, and their influence is pretty evident in her game.

Just last Sunday, the teenager showed that she could also be as clutch as her basketball heroes Kobe Bryant and Sue Bird after helping Syria escape Indonesia, 75-74, for their second win in the FIBA U16 Women's Asian Championship 2022 Division B.

"It was hard, but I thank God that I was able to come back even stronger than before."


She cleaned up Sounia Jamsakian's miss with 1.7 seconds left for the game-winning bucket to complete her team's comeback from 14 points down.

"I felt joy, happiness, and I felt blessed that I was able to hit the game-winner to put our team on top," expressed Alahmar, who finished with a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds without any rest as she played all 40 minutes.

Syria finished second in Group A of Division B with a 2-1 record and the 1.73 M (5'8") forward is definitely a big reason behind that.

So far, Alahmar is leading the team in scoring with 18.3 points on a 52.9 percent shooting clip, alongside 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 29.3 minutes per game.

This isn't her first time playing for Syria. But the ongoing meet is surely one that she will cherish more, given the setback she suffered two years ago.

Alahmar revealed that she had previously torn an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which kept her off of the hardwood for six long months.

The time being away, though, made her love the game even more, thus the newfound appreciation upon returning into action.

"My love and appreciation for basketball also grew when I spent six months away from basketball in 2020, when I tore my ACL while playing and spent that time rehabbing and working hard to get back on the court," she recalled.

"It was hard, but I thank God that I was able to come back even stronger than before," added Alahmar, who made her national team debut in 2019.

The recovery process was, indeed, challenging, but the promising hooper didn't need to look that far for inspiration in overcoming that adversity.

"My heroes are the late Kobe Bryant and Sue Bird. They are both legends and masters of their crafts," said Alahmar, as the legends she mentioned both went through major injuries but never allowed that to hinder them from success.

"What inspired me about them is their work ethic, competitiveness and their dedication to becoming better and winning at the highest level."

Alahmar has been making some noise in the tournament but she would rather keep her feet on the ground, since the job's not finished.

Syria are set for a collision course with Iran on Tuesday at the Prince Hamza Sport Hall for the right to face Lebanon in the Semi-Finals - a monumental achievement, if they do make it, for a country that is playing on at this stage for the first time ever.

"The job is not finished yet," said Alahmar, who started playing hoops at age 11. "We are looking forward to our next game, so hopefully, we can get a step closer to our goal which is to make our country proud."