Benny Koochoie wants to play basketball. He's convinced that pursuing his dream in Iran is his only path to a professional career.
Because of his Iranian heritage, the Turlock High graduate has accepted an invitation to try out for the national team. Koochoie, who has dual citizenship, said playing for his ancestors' country is the best opportunity for him to get noticed.
Koochoie said he is proud of his heritage and his American upbringing. He has no problem representing what he calls his "home country."
"For the NBA, I'm not that big a player," said Koochoie, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 190 pounds. "It's difficult for me to get in the (National Basketball Development League) and the NBA.
"In the next few months, my stock might rise or it might drop, but I have a legitimate shot at contributing to this team and being a starter on this team."