19 December, 2022
23 May, 2023
6 Hussain Khalid Rashed Mohammad Albalooshi (SAH)
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Albalooshi proud as he becomes youngest to play in WASL at 17

DUBAI (United Arab Emirates) - The game was all but settled as Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai leading Al Bashaer hugely with about three minutes left to play in their WASL-Gulf duel, but Hussain Albalooshi didn't tone down the aggression.

[My goal is] to be one of the best guards in the UAE national team.

Shortly after receiving the inbound pass of Hamid Albreiki at center court, the youngster took on the defense of the more seasoned Hadid Bakhit and relentlessly attacked the latter on the way to the cup for a foul.

"I tried to get my confidence," he said.

Albalooshi was awarded with two free throws, and he would not waste the opportunity. He calmly sank both of his shots from the charity stripe to help the home team extend their lead to 42 points, 86-44, with 3:14 on the clock.

Shabab Al Ahli ran away with the 92-61 blowout, easily their most decisive victory in the league to date after beating their foes by an average of 4.0 points per game prior. Furthermore, it stretched their unbeaten streak to four.

But the game meant so much more for Albalooshi.


The match versus Al Bashaer last January 17 at the Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall was his WASL debut. And once he was subbed late in the third, he officially became one of the youngest to play in the young competition at 17.

"Made me proud of myself," he said.

But Albalooshi wasn't content in just getting his feet wet.

He wanted to show that he could stand his ground against players way older than him, which he showed a glimpse of when he tried to help stop opposing reinforcement Aaron Clyde Parks from getting an easy bucket inside.

Parks was sent to the foul line but there was no denying the effort of Albalooshi. When the former was located near the rim, the latter was quick to recognize as much and immediately provided help defense to disrupt the layup.

Eventually, the 1.75 M (5'9") guard finished the game with a pair of fouls and 2 points in five minutes of play. All in all, it was an inexplicable feeling for him that, at last, he was able to play for the club that took a chance on him.

Albalooshi began playing the game back in school, and was soon be discovered by one of Shabab Al Ahli's scouts. The rest, as they say, is history - or history waiting to unfold in his case, perhaps.

"I was too happy when Coach called me from the bench to put me in the game. I can’t describe my feelings," said Albalooshi, who first introduced himself with UAE at the 2022 FIBA U18 Asian Championship-GBA Qualifiers.


Albalooshi only rode the bench in Shabab Al Ahli's first three assignments in WASL, but that didn't mean no lessons were picked up as he found himself within the good graces of tried and tested veterans.

Looking at it, he's actually lucky, since he's been receiving lessons and pointers and everything in between from pros such as Qais Omar Alshabebi, Nick Minnerath, Brandon Triche, and Milan Milosevic, to name some.

Alshabebi, for one, has been in one too many battles with the UAE national team, the most recent of which was in the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers that saw him help the nation secure a spot in the Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Then there's the troika of Minnerath, Milosevic, and Triche - yes, the one who once graced the cover of Sports Illustrated during his time with Syracuse - who all boast of experiences garnered playing from various parts of the world.

Really, Albalooshi couldn't ask for more.

"Playing with veterans in Shabab Al Ahli is perfect," he said.

"They have made a lot of achievements and they make it kind of easy for me because they always guide me in the right direction. I learned from them that nothing comes easy; I have to work on myself; and I have to be patient."

Their guidance could help Albalooshi reach his goal.

"To be one of the best guards in the UAE national team," he said.

And tap into his full potential, hopefully.