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Old 12-10-09, 06:57 AM
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Luke Winn: Rice's Arsalan Kazemi breaks through, from Iran to Division I

HOUSTON -- Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, the son of an Iranian diplomat, played on his country's first Olympic basketball team, in the 1948 Summer Games, and shortly thereafter became the first known Iranian basketball player to enroll in an American university. He arrived at Cal in early 1949, then transferred to UCLA and later, Los Angeles City College, though no record exists of him playing hoops in the U.S. It's unlikely that Iran's national team, which finished 14th out of 23 countries in London, winning just one game, against Ireland, and earning a forfeit against Hungary, had any NCAA-caliber prospects. Esfandiary worked at the United Nations in the '50s, but found his true calling in the '70s as a futurist author and guiding light of the transhumanist movement, with its wildly optimistic vision of the world to come. He even changed his name to FM-2030, a reference to his 100th year on what he believed would be an advanced planet.




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