IRAN'S gold medal mission in the Fiba-Asia championships got a big scare when star point guard Mahdi Kamrany left in the third period of the game against India on Monday after a collision with Rikin Shantilal Pethani.
The game was already all but decided at the halfway point of the third period when the 6-foot Kamrany banged his head on Pethani's right knee as they chased down a loose ball.
Kamrany was down on the floor for nearly five minutes as medical staff attended to him.
However, Iran national coach Mehmed Becirovic was relieved to know that his starting point guard suffered no more than a lump on his head but won't be missing any games.
“He (Kamrany) got hit at the head, but it’s not serious. So he’ll probably play tomorrow,” said Becirovic after the Iranians' 102-58 victory - the team's fourth in a row in the preliminaries.
Nikkhah Bahrami Samad, Iran’s top outside gunner, said it would be hard to imagine an Iranian national team without Kamrany, whom he considers as the team’s captain.
“He’s (Kamrany) one of the best players in Asia. He’s like a captain in the team because he controls everything on the court,” said Bahrami, who led Iran with 15 points against India.
Bahrami, who has been to numerous international basketball wars together with Kamrany, said getting hit in basketball is part of the sport.
“He just got hit on the head. That’s basketball. It’s a contact sport, but he’ll be fine,” he added.