Northern Iowa hero Ali Farokhmanesh graces the cover of this week’s March 29, 2010, cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, on newsstands tomorrow, with the billing DIVINE MADNESS: BRACKET BUSTERS, BUZZER BEATERS AND THE PERFECT TOURNAMENT.
From SI senior writer Tim Layden’s piece: “Farokhmanesh leads the Panthers in minutes (30.3 per game) and three-point field goal attempts (201), an unlikely role for an undersized shooting guard who was not recruited out of West High in Iowa City and attended two junior colleges. … Farokhmanesh has been launching 600 to 700 shots a day since junior high. Last summer Northern Iowa assistant coach P.J. Hogan would open the gym at 6 a.m. so that Farokhmanesh could shoot before class. Asked what player Farokhmanesh reminds him of, Hogan says, ‘He reminds me of a towel boy.’ ”
Says his mother, Cindy Fredrick: “Nobody wanted him. He was a 5′ 11″ white boy. All my life I’ve said it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. And he is a fighter and he’s a hard worker. From the time he was just a baby, he’d drag us to the gym. Every single day: ‘Let’s shoot baskets, let’s shoot baskets.’ ”