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Egyptian Basketball Star - Alaa Abdelnaby

posted on: Oct 5, 2022

Photo: Alaa Abdelnaby / Source: dreamstime

By: Carrie Stewart / Arab America Content Contributor

In the past, there have not been many Arab Americans in professional sports. However, one of the most popular is Alaa Abdelnaby, an Egyptian NBA player. After his college career at Duke, he played for Portland as well as the Milwaukee BucksBoston CelticsPhiladelphia 76ers, and Sacramento Kings.

He is currently a basketball broadcaster/analyst for NBCS PhiladelphiaCBS Sports Network, and Westwood One Radio.

Early Life/Family

Egyptian Basketball Star - Alaa Abdelnaby
Photo: Alexandria, Egypt / Source: pixaby

Alaa was born in Alexandria, Egypt on June 24th, 1968. He is Muslim and moved with his family to the United States when he was only 2 years old in 1971. He was raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and was a stand-out basketball player in High School, he was even an All-American.

The identity of his Arab parents is not public knowledge and it is unknown if he has any siblings. However, we do know that he is currently married to Celeste Barnette. They keep their personal life very private.

College Career

Egyptian Basketball Star - Alaa Abdelnaby
Photo: Duke University / Source: pixaby

While he played at Duke from 1986 to 1990 Alaa was a 6’10” 240-pound forward. He scored a total of 1137 points for the team, had 70 blocks, and played all four years. He started in 37 games his senior year.

In his senior year, the team’s record was 29-9 and they finished ranked 15th.

NBA Carrer

Egyptian Basketball Star - Alaa Abdelnaby
Photo: Golden State Warriors Stadium / Source: pixaby

Alaa was the 25th pick of the 1990 NBA draft. He spent 5 years in the league and then signed with the Golden State Warriors. However, he never actually played for the team. He played a total of 256 games and had an average of 5.7 points per game. His free throw percentage was .701.

After leaving the NBA he played internationally in Greece, France, and more.

Current Career

Egyptian Basketball Star - Alaa Abdelnaby
Photo: Sports Broadcasting / Source: pexels

Alaa is currently a broadcaster for the NBA. What makes him unique, however, is that he started broadcasting games in Arabic in 1995 with Orbit Satellite Television and then afterward worked for other Arabic channels.

Abdelnaby is currently the color analyst for the Philadelphia 76ers. He is also a CBS Sports Network college basketball in-studio analyst, providing color commentary for on-site NCAA basketball games. He also does color commentary for Westwood One Radio.

It is very special to see Arab representation in U.S sports, check out some of Alaa Abdelnaby’s old games if you are interested!

Check out Arab America’s blog here!