Behnam Yakhchali Says Gave Up Football for Basketball

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran national basketball team guard Behnam Yakhchali says he used to play football when he was a kid.

Behnam Yakhchali Says Gave Up Football for Basketball

The 23-year-old player had already played in one FIBA Basketball World Cup and two FIBA Asia Cups, before starring for Iran recently throughout the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.

The shooting guard is one of the most recognizable players on the Iran national team and should be the face of the program for years to come.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that basketball wasn’t even his first choice of sport.

"I used to play soccer when I was a kid. At that time my younger brother played basketball. I went to one of his practice sessions and everything started from there," Yakhchali told

"The love of the game started to grow on me and I gave up soccer to follow my love for the game of basketball."

"Whether I play for my club or the national team, all I think about is winning the game," Yakhchali stated. "That gives me the motivation and energy to play as hard as I can every time I step on the court."

"I watch all the great players at different levels," said Yakhchali. "Whether it’s in NBA, Europe, or other countries including Iran. I try to learn from them all the good things they do on the court, on the bench, and even off the court."

"I always try to work on my game to get better and improve each and everyday. I can’t really tell what’s my strength but I really feel it every time I take an outside jumper,” Yakhchali concluded.

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