Jordan’s rise as a regional superpower in Basketball saw them become a global player once again last year when they qualified to the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The JOC caught up with one of the players, Ahmad Al Hamarsheh, who was instrumental in the Jordan team that has captured the imagination of an entire nation.
How did you get into Basketball?
It was by chance that I started playing Basketball. Physical Education teachers at my school saw that I was becoming tall at a young age and was an ideal fit to play Basketball despite never playing it before. They got me training and it wasn’t long before the sport became a vital part of my life.
What was your very first match with the national team?
It was in the Asian Games held in Guangzhou in 2010 against North Korea. We won the match 90-80 and of course it will remain in my memory as, always, the first match for your country is different. After that I started focusing more on my career and training hard.
What was your biggest moment and why?
It was definitely when we qualified to the 2019 FIBA World Cup. One minute near the end of our match against New Zealand we saw our fans cheering loudly and then at the end of the game they were all crying as they knew we had qualified due to Lebanon losing to Korea. The atmosphere was incredible at Prince Hamzeh Hall and that moment will never leave our memories.
Is there one match that is special?
Yeah, it was during the William Jones Cup in 2019. The night before the match we came back late to the hotel which made our coach angry and we promised him that we would play well. The next day we played against Japan and we won 81-63 as an apology, and I scored 23 points by myself. It was really special to me.
What have you learned from Basketball?
I learned many things like new cultures by visiting new countries. Basketball makes me more open and confident. Playing for people not only for yourself is a virtue and I do respect this.
What do you think about Jordan Basketball over recent years?
The improvements and being in World Cup didn’t come by chance. The start was in 2016 when our national Coach, Sam Daghlas, was the team coach and the crowds starting supporting the sport by bringing it back to life with planned strategies by the federation.
What do you think about the newcomers in the team?
We have some astonishing and talented young players like Ameen Abu Hawas, Freidy Ibrahim and others. We still need more players in the future to build a team that will carry out the mission and keep Jordan Basketball on the top.