Iranian American Swoops March Madness and Makes the Cover of Sports Illustrated
Sarah Barbod, PAAIA Orange County Chapter Intern
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 – Just announced this morning, Ali Farokhmanesh, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, will be featured on the March 29 cover of Sports Illustrated. Ali made college basketball history on Saturday, interestingly the first day of spring, with a three-point shot for the record books. With less than 50 seconds left on the clock, no timeouts, and the haze of underdog #9 seed lure creeping from all corners of the court, the 6’0”/190 lb. Guard scored the game winning a three-point shot (watch) in a dramatic playoff versus #1 seed University of Kansas. Thanks to Ali’s shot, the UNI Panthers have singled themselves out of 64 teams and are now on their way to the next round of the NCAA tournament, the coveted Sweet 16.
With the shocking overthrow of the #1 team in the nation, basketball enthusiasts across America are howling over their bracket shake-up. And it’s all because of one student-athlete. His full name is Ali Fredrick Farokhmanesh. He is the son of Cyndy Fredrick and Mashallah Farokhmanesh. Mashallah came to the United States in the early 70’s from Iran and received his doctorate in Elementary School Physical Education from Bringham Young University. He played volleyball for seven years for the Iranian National Team, coached for three years at Esfahan High School, and coached another three years for the Iranian Volleyball Club Team. Currently Dr. Farokhmanesh serves as the Assistant Coach for Iowa’s Luther College Women’s Volleyball team, where his wife serves as Head Coach.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated and CNN commentator Dan Patrick, Ali talked about his name, basketball, and his time to shine.
Ali on the mispronunciation of his name: “My teammates call me Stroke sometimes. Or a lot of people just call me Mohammad.”
The game winning shot: “I went into the shot with confidence and luckily it went in.”
Dan- “When you average nine points a game, shoot under 40% at a three-point range, why you? Why now?”
Ali- “That’s how our team has been all year, just different people stepping up. If it’s your night to step up, you better make the plays.”
Listen to the full interview here.
Tune in this Friday at 9:37 P.M. ET on CBS as Ali and his teammates take on 5th seed Michigan State in St. Louis. You can also watch the game online streaming live at: http://mmod.ncaa.com/