NxGn: Here Is Pick Number 4- Lebanese Basketball
18 Apr.2017– Talent can’t be taught, but it can be awakened. And we might just be witnessing the awakening of a beast. Shining after his first season in D1, the sky’s the limit for Karim Zeinoun. Dubbed as the next big thing, he’s on the right path to excel among the best in the game.
Karim’s journey started at Kahraba Club but didn’t last long there as he moved to Hoops Antelias until the age of 15. Seeking greener pastures, Al Riyadi Beirut attracted the talented guard as the dream of representing the yellow giant was looming on the horizon. Coaches say Karim could absorb anything like a sponge. Easy to coach, he’s a general on the floor and his team’s dynamo when they’re down.
Zeinoun had the chance to wear the colors of the National team under coach Salim Chemali with the U16s and competed in WABA 2015. During the Asian Championship, Karim ranked first in efficiency throughout the whole tournament, ranking among the top 3 in every category. This summer his journey continued wearing the red and white with the U18s. Our youngsters had 2 chances in the tournament to make the world cup, but unfortunately lost in the semis and 3rd/4th place game! Needless to say that Karim performed greatly during the championship.
Karim was affected by many coaches with the likes of Patrick Saba, Roro Zalloum and Slobodan Subotic that shaped him into the player he is today. As the latter once told him:”it’s not a matter of who you’re playing against, with a lion’s heart, you can go far kid…”. Karim is known for his hustle and never quitting on any play. He plays his heart out, just a man enjoying himself. Being the youngest to ever score 21 points during the Asian Club Championship, he’s always remembered as the one who can be the new face of Lebanese Basketball.
His will to progress, improve and refine his skills pushed him to enter the NBA without borders camp. Players like Jerry Stackhouse, David Robinson, Dante Exum and Bruce Bowen kept a close eye on every player out there and Karim caught a few. He was chosen as one the top 15 players in that camp. His versatile type of play and his unique approach to the game make him a poacher on court. His shooting abilities make him a threat anywhere on the wood, but don’t get too close because he can blow by you, drive the lane and finish hard at the rim. A type of player that can adapt to the defense played against him and dismantle it.
Wherever he goes, he creates havoc. For the first time since ages, his high school team ( Sagesse) have held an undefeated streak as no one could find the remidy to stop Zeinoun and co. Whooping 11 trophies in a row, who can stop them? Well KZ is used to success. This year’s summer league was nothing but a sample of what’s coming up. He was chosen as the best assister, scorer, and player of the tournament as well as most promising talent , while his undefeated team swept everyone aside.
After winning the second division last year with Mayrouba, Karim hopes he will one day be part of a team that will write history and win his first of many, Lebanese Championships in D1. As the great Magic Johnson once said:” Talent is never enough. The best players are the hardest workers”. So keep pounding young man we’ll be looking forward to seeing you on the top of the mountain.