Earlier this month, Lebanese pro Ali Mansour was interviewed by Talkbasket.net as he looked ahead to important games for both club and country. The Al Riyadi guard discussed what it would mean to him to win the FIBA World Cup with his country in 2023, having moved steps closer to achieving such via qualifying victories.
It’s been quite the journey for the 24-year-old World Cup hopeful, so we thought to quiz him on what (or who) inspired him to strive for success as a basketball player.
Mansour considers the late Kobe Bryant his idol. Bryant, who tragically passed away in early 2020, was known as one of the hardest workers in the game and certainly one of the most relentless opponents. He was right up there with Michael Jordan where it pertains to mentality.
“My idol is surely Kobe Bryant,” he told us. “His work ethic and dedication for the game just makes you love basketball more and more and makes you respect the game and work out even harder.”
As for the person he credits for his development, it’s none other than his father.
“My dad, as simple as that,” Ali remarked.
“My dad is my everything in this game he sacrificed his life, his money, his jobs for me. He made sure that I never missed a practice, never missed an opportunity for me to get better he always wanted me to be the best version of myself and he always took decisions that were in my best interest although I never realized it at the time.
.”That’s why now as a professional basketball player I’m giving him back everything and every game I win it’s for him every tournament we win is for him and I will keep making him proud and happy because, at the end of the day, his hard work really paid off!”
Ali and his national teammates are looking ahead to a pair of qualifiers against Jordan and Saudi Arabia at the end of February.
You could read Part 1 of our interview with Ali right here.