DOHA, Qatar (4th FIBA Asia Cup): When he made his debut as a strapping teenager at the 1999 FIBA World Championship for Junior Men in Portugal, Yasseen Musa returned mind-boggling averages of 25 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. That performance put Qatar on the international basketball map as a power to reckon.
Now more than a decade later, as the GCC nation goes through the pangs of a generation change and attempts a revival in its reputation and rankings in the forthcoming 4th FIBA Asia Cup to be played in Tokyo (Japan) from Sept 14-22, it is this friendly Al Rayyan power forward yet again who is the center of all attention.
Ever since the day he donned the Qatar national colors in age group competitions, if there has been a soldier who has given his everything on the court for the Qatar National Team it has been Yasseen Musa.
Coach after coach who has handled the team have marveled at the depth of reserves this seasoned campaigner – now 32 years of age – can dig into when it comes to delivering what the team needs.
More than his ability on the court – as impressive on both ends of the floor as it can get – it is his leadership qualities to marshal the resources – often limited – against all opposition – more often than not daunting – that has left the discerning wondering.
As Qatar line up in Group B to take on hosts Japan, twice former FIBA Asia champions Iran, SABA champions India and the tricky East Asian team Chinese Taipei at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup, Musa’s role as a leader on the court and off it will count a lot in leading the GCC team to regain its lost glory.
More power to such men!