ORLANDO, Fla. -- Arsalan Kazemi, whom the Sixers selected with the 54th pick of last year's draft, walked into the practice gym Monday morning with the Sixers.
He was a surprising sight.
Kazemi was supposed to play in the Las Vegas Summer League beginning Friday, but he had a change of plans.
"I will play here," he said. "I was with my national team. I traveled into Midway [Chicago] and then came here. I will play in Orlando, and then I have to join them [the national team] again for the FIBA Asia Cup and China."
Kazemi is a member of the Iranian National Team. He was the first-ever Iranian-born player selected in the NBA draft.
Kazemi will play in the Orlando Summer League for a second consecutive year. After his participation last summer he signed a one-year deal with Petrochimi Bandar, a professional team in Iran.
Kazemi had a productive season, averaging 11.0 rebounds and 12.5 points shooting 58.4 percent from the field.
"Last year they were saying I was an undersized four-man," Kazemi said. "I can guard the perimeter but I still need to work on the perimeter. I think I work on my shot a little bit. Hopefully, I will show it during the games."
The Sixers play at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Kazemi is expected to play along with Nerlens Noel.
Kazemi, who is 6-foot-8, enjoyed playing overseas last season because he was home. He also found the Iran Super League to be highly competitive.
"People don't think about it that way, but I am pretty sure it is one of the strongest leagues overseas," the former Oregon Duck said. "It was pretty good. I got a lot of experience playing there."
Whether that experience is enough to earn him a roster spot in Philadelphia the upcoming season is unknown, but that is the goal.
"The Sixers are my team," Kazemi said. "I wanted to see everyone, all the coaches. I still want to join this team and come here and play. I wanted to come here and show them what I added to my game this year."