Arsalan Kazemi, of the Oregon Ducks, was declared eligeble by the NCAA yesterday following a waiver that Kazemi submitted to be allowed to for go sitting out a year. Last year Kazemi played for Rice and following the season decided to transfer, along with five other players from the Owls program. Kazemi becomes the second Rice transfer to gain immediate eligibility in the Pac-12. Omar Oraby, Kazemi’s teammate at Rice last season, won a waiver to play immediately at USC.
At 6-7 226 pounds, Kazemi gives coach Dana Altman a much needed presence in the middle of his high flying offense. The senior will also brings experience to a frontcourt that only boast one player of any importance, small forward K.J Singler. At Rice Kazemi, the first Iranian born Division I college basketball player, averaged 12.4 points and 10.3 rebounds and was considered a leading contender for player of the year in Conference USA.
After having missed Oregon’s first two games, Kazemi will be available to play tonight against the visiting Vanderbilt Commodores at the Matthew Knight Arena. If he had not received the waiver, it is believed that his plan was to sit out the year rather than declare for the NBA draft or seek a contract overseas and begin his professional career there. Instead this year he will help the Ducks attempt to unseat the favorites of the PAC-12, Arizona and UCLA. Kazemi will have to battle against some of the highly touted freshman that those two programs brought in but his experience and superior strength may help give the Ducks an edge.