Hamed Haddadi is a professional Iranian basketball player who plays as a center. Haddadi began his professional career, playing in the Iranian Basketball Super League with Paykan and Saba Battery. He received numerous offers to play in Europe, notably from Partizan Belgrade in the Serbian League, however Haddadi decided to turn them all down.
In 2008, Haddadi led Saba Battery to the Asian Club Championship title, before heading with Iran to the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Even before his appearance in the Olympics, Haddadi was receiving calls from NBA teams, asking for his signature. Haddadi decided to make a decision after the Olympics, but his decision to sign cause numerous complications that exist in any dealings between US and Iranian parties. Haddadi signed as a free-agent with the Memphis Grizzlies, in August 2008, just in time for their pre-season practice games.
Haddadi made his debut for the Grizzlies but his style and ability to play in the NBA was doubtful, leading to a stint in the NBA D-League with the Dakota Wizards. After a month with the Wizards, Haddadi returned to the Grizzlies but continued to start on the bench. He played just 19 games through 2008-09, putting in a memorable 10-minute performance of 10-points, 8 rebounds and a block, all leading to a 12-0 run, against the Golden State Warriors.
Haddadi received numerous offers to play for European teams, such as FC Barcelona, however the Iranian decided to extend his contract with the Grizzlies until 2013.
At the international level, Haddadi led the Iranian Men’s national basketball team to the Bronze Medal at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha before winning the Gold at the FIBA Asian Championships in 2007 (Tokushima) and 2009 (Tianjin).
He also won the Silver medal at the 2002 Asian Under-18 championships and the Gold at the 2004 Asian Under-20 Championships.
Haddadi has been known to organize, fund and participate in numerous charity events for children in the United States, especially to increase interaction between the Iranian and American communities.