In ‘Iran Job,’ a hoop star in a foreign land

Point guard Kevin Sheppard  on court in “The Iran Job.’’
Point guard Kevin Sheppard on court in “The Iran Job.’’Photos courtesy of Film Movement

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The Iran Job,” a lively, engaging documentary directed by the German filmmaker Till Schauder, has two things going for it. One is a pretty irresistible premise: an American playing point guard for an Iranian professional basketball team. There are fish out of water – and then there’s Kevin Sheppard. Sheppard, the point guard, is the other. He has an exuberant personality, curious mind, and engaging manner. If Michael Strahan ever leaves his morning gig with Kelly Ripa, Sheppard could step right in.

Twenty-nine at the start of the 2008-2009 season, Sheppard had spent much of his 20s as a hoop vagabond, playing in China, Brazil, Israel. “My first response when I heard about Iran was ‘Hell, no!’,” he says.

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