Two American basketball players, Joseph Jones and J.P. Prince, are stranded in Dubai after Iran’s decision to ban U.S. citizens prevented them from returning to the country where they play professionally, Eric Fleisher, the agent for both players, told The Vertical. Iran’s ban of U.S. citizens was in retaliation to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries — including Iran — from entering the United States.
Jones, 30, and Prince, 29, teammates on Azad University Tehan, which plays in the Iran Super League, were on a team-funded break in Dubai when President Trump signed the executive order, Fleisher said. Before the players could return, Iran issued its ban, preventing the two players from returning to the country. “At the moment they are stranded,” Fleisher told The Vertical. “It’s a real hardship.”
Fleisher said team officials have spoken to Iranian government representatives about resolving the situation but “there is very little optimism” about finding a solution that will allow either player back in the country. Both stand to lose a substantial amount of money — six figures, Fleisher said — if they cannot finish the season.
Gibson also has played in Turkey, Israel, Italy and Iran. Iran? “I was there for 37 days,” he said. “It was OK. The people were nice. It wasn’t like it looks on TV. Going over there, I was (worried). But once I got there, it was OK.” Iran also was where he had one of the weirdest experiences of his overseas travels. “I was walking through a big crowd and somebody took my shoes out of my backpack – while it was on my back,” he said. “The fans are into it over there. Soccer is No. 1, but basketball is No. 2 there.”
Hamed Haddadi decided to spend his summer in his country, Iran. He has signed a contract with Mahram Tehran, as a source told Sportando. Haddadi ended a good season in China with Qingdao Double Star Eagles, where he reached CBA Semifinals and averaged 20.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game.