INTERVIEW: Oregon’s recent commit Ehab Amin discusses NBA dream, future of basketball in Egypt
Only six days after Egypt’s men’s football national team lost their third and final game at the 2018 World Cup, the men’s basketball national team beat Morocco in their FIBA World Championships qualification game to move on to the second round. And on Friday June 29, basketball national team member Ehab Amin committed to Pac-12 member, University of Oregon.
The former Texas A&M Corpus Christi guard and recent Oregon commit spoke to KingFut about his ambitions with his new team, his NBA dream and the future of basketball in Egypt.
“I started playing basketball when I was 6 years old. Of course I love soccer and so does everybody back home, but my passion for basketball is different,” Amin reflected, “basketball has been my life since I was kid.”
Amin, 22, began his playing career young and burst on the scene while playing for St. John’s Northwestern Military. He then committed to Texas A&M Corpus Christi to continue his career. He enjoyed three great seasons, including leading the NCAA in steals per game in the 2016-17 season, before suffering an injury that left him out of the 2017-18 season.
“I would have to say when we beat SFA in my freshman year and stopped their winning streak. It was one of my best games that year,” the Egyptian said of his favorite memory with the Islanders. SFA began the 2014-15 Pac-12 season with ten wins and zero losses, until they faced the Islanders in their second match-up that season on February 14, 2015 where they lost 71-63. SFA continued the rest of the regular season with no other losses.
After missing the 2017-18 season through injury, Amin made the decision to transfer to another university as a graduate transfer. He started by committing to Nevada, but a few weeks later announced he would decommit and look elsewhere, thus landing at Oregon.
The Ducks had an impressive 2016-17 season where they were ranked as No. 1 at the Pac-12 tournament, but lost to Arizona in the final. They stormed past Iona, Rhode Island, Michigan, and No. 1 Kansas in the NCAA tournament before losing to North Carolina 76-77 in the Final Four. However, the 2017-18 season was a bit more challenging with many of the stars graduating, transferring to other schools, or declaring for the NBA draft.
In comes Egyptian guard Ehab Amin. He follows a few other Egyptians who have played in collegiate basketball and to play in the NBA behind the likes of Abdel Nader and Anas Mahmoud. What makes these players unique is their passion for what many consider is the second sport of Egypt behind football.
“I decided to transfer from Corpus in the first place for 2 reasons: 1- To play on a bigger stage and 2- To lead a team to a great season. Decommitting from Nevada was not an easy decision at all. It’s a very good team but after a lot of consideration I felt Oregon is a better fit for me right now and I could have an exceptional year here as a fifth year transfer.
“I see my leadership and experience having a great impact on leading the team to a successful season,” Amin explained on the decision.
Not only has Amin made an impact on his university’s team, but he has also represented Egypt at multiple competitions. He was part of the team that won the silver medal at the 2013 Afrobasket and at the 2015 All African Games. Yet, Amin is awaiting the opportunity to represent the Pharaohs at the coveted FIBA World Cup.
“My hopes have always been to represent my country in the best way possible. My goal is to represent my country in the World Cup and the Olympics. I wish the team does better in the second round of qualifiers and make it to the World Cup,” he added.
But basketball has been overshadowed by soccer in Egypt for years. Amin, however, sees the 2019 World Cup qualifiers that were partially hosted in Egypt as a turning point for the sport.
“It’s [basketball popularity] been getting better lately in the last couple of years, especially with the second round of World Cup qualifiers being held in Cairo, it brought a lot of attention and eyes to the sport of basketball in Egypt.”
“The way to dominate the African continent again and grab the attention to basketball in Egypt is to work on building a generation of players who play on bigger stages in the US and Europe and mix this group of players with the best players in Egypt,” the Egypt international mentioned.
Since Amin doesn’t have any years of eligibility left to play at the collegiate level, he will automatically enter the NBA draft, something that has been a dream for the Egyptian. He hopes to follow in the steps of current Celtics’ player Abdel Nader and former NBA player Alaa Abdelnaby, who played for Duke University and was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers as the 25th pick.
“I love the game and it has always been my dream to play in the NBA,” Amin concluded.
KingFut would like thank Ehab Amin for his time and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
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