In response to Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Iran is now barring American citizens from entering its borders.
And somehow former Texas A&M basketball player Joseph Jones and one-time Tennessee star J.P. Prince are caught in the middle of it. The two basketball players play for Azad University Tehran Basketball Club, a pro squad in Iran, and after a team vacation in Dubai, the two aren’t allowed back to their home court.
“At the moment they are stranded,” Fleisher said. “It’s a real hardship.”
“We are waiting for clarity from the team,” he said. “It’s tough. It doesn’t look like they can finish the season in Iran. It’s not good to be out of a job. Secondarily, all their things are in Iran. They can’t go back and get them. It’s been difficult.”
Fleisher said the players stand to lose nearly “six figures” worth of contract money.
Each of these guys were ballers in their own right in their college years.
Jones once dropped 31 on a very good 2006 Texas Longhorns basketball team that featured one Kevin Durant. He also had this memorable game-winner against Oklahoma State.
Jones earned a short stint with the Houston Rockets summer team before beginning an international playing career. Prince’s journey has been similar. The two began playing pro-Iranian ball this season.
What seems so callous in all of this is how a cruel stroke of Trump’s set in motion a chain of events that flipped these two American citizens’ life upside down and impacted their way to make a living.