Fadi El Khatib (فادي الخطيب), born January 1, 1979, is a basketball player currently playing for Champville SC in the Lebanese Basketball League. He is also the current captain of the Lebanon national basketball team that participated in the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis in the United States, in the 2006 FIBA World Championship which took place in Japan, and in the 2010 FIBA World Championship held in Turkey.
By 1997, Khatib joined Sagesse Beirut, signing a three year contract; which was renewed by 7 more years.
After the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis, many NBA scouts were impressed by Fadi's shooting range , strength, athletic ability, physical and mental toughness such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets.
In 2006, he joined Lebanon's Blue Stars and later in 2007, Lebanon's 29-year-old leader decided this off-season to try his hand at hoops in Europe, playing for Ukrainian EuroCup team SK Cherkassy Monkeys. Fadi played his first match with the Cherkassy Monkeys together with the Israelian Center Amit Tamir. In 28 minutes he scored 37 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, dished 5 assists and had 4 steals, leading the Ukrainian team to a victory.
Khatib returned to his native Lebanon and helped Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut to their third title at the International Dubai Tournament. In 2009-2010 season khatib joined Lebanese club Champville SC. He stated in a interview in late 2010 that he still gets contracts till now from teams all around the world France, Greece, Turkey, China, Brazil, Japan and Serbia but accept contracts from Lebanese teams for a less salary to stay in his native country.
Al Riyadi-Sagesse Controversy
On 5 August 2005, while Riyadi club tends to negotiate with its traditional rival, Sagesse club, the conditions related to national player signing of two different contracts, the Sagesse club insisted that El Khatib signed the contract in the Lebanese Basketball League. On the other hand, Riyadi club expressed great distress as to what has been agreed upon assuring that it will go forth with the law suit, Sagesse refused to make any statement. Riyadi club assured that the two clubs are on good terms, but the problem is with El Khatib and the Lebanese Champions will settle the matter in court. Fadi would then join Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut in March 2008.
Fadi El Khatib started playing with the Lebanese national basketball team in 1999, he qualified Lebanon for the first time to the FIBA Asia Championship that same year, Lebanon ended up in 7th place. In the 2001, 2005 and 2007 FIBA Asia Championship El Khatib helped Lebanon reach the second place and the fourth place in 2003 and 2009. Fadi also qualified Lebanon, to three World Championship.
Michael Jordan's personal trainer Tim Grover personally invited him to workout with Michael Jordan, Michael Finley, Ray Allen, Charles Oakley, Sam Mack and Juwan Howard. They were all very impressed and told Fadi he should be in the NBA. Michael Jordan was quoted in the New York Times, "Michael Jordan believes Lebanon's premiere player should be in the NBA."
2006 FIBA World Championship
The 19th of August 2006, in Lebanon's opening match, Fadi El Khatib scored 35 points leading Lebanon to a win 82-72 against Venezuela. After a two loss games against Argentina and Serbia, El Khatib leads Lebanon to a historical victory against France 74-73 by scoring 31 points.
El Khatib ended up being the 8th Top Scorer averaging 18.8 ppg.
2008 Olympic Qualifiers
Khatib led Lebanon in their hopes of qualifying for the 2008 Summer Olympics via the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament; however, following a pre-tournament injury to Joe Vogel, Khatib conceded that Lebanon did not have the "slightest possibility of winning" against host Greece. Indeed, Lebanon lost to Greece on the opening day of the tournament. After another loss to Brazil, Khatib and Lebanon failed to qualify for the 2008 games.
2010 FIBA World Championship
In Lebanon's opening game, El Khatib scored 31 points leading Lebanon to win over Canada 81-71. In the second half, Fadi scored 26 points he was 5/5 from the field.
As Lebanon’s head coach Tab Baldwin pointed out, the bigger the game, the bigger and better El Khatib is likely to play. After Lebanon's victory against Canada, Canadian coach Leo Rautins stated after the game:“That’s the kind of versatility he has. We have seen him play and we tried to use quickness on him and that didn’t work. Then we tried to use size on him with Jermaine Bucknor and that didn’t work. Pretty much everything we threw at him, they found a way to counter.” “He was just real aggressive when he got the ball in the post,” Canadian centre Joel Anthony said. “He was doing the things he is known for. We just weren’t about to adjust when he really turned things up in the fourth.”
Unfortunately, Coach Tab Baldwin changed the team's strategy in the next four matches by putting El Khatib in the corner which prevented Fadi from scoring and Lebanon from winning.
Thousands of Lebanese fans in Turkey were upset that Lebanon did not qualify to the next round. After Lebanon's last match against Lithuania, Fadi El Khatib said in an interview that this will be his last World Championship.
Sponsors and commercials
Pepsi was one of Fadi's show offs for such markets during his Sagesse run. It is widely known that he advertised for basketball championships in both Asia and FIBA. Fadi also promoted for his famous dunk at Blue Stars - Muttahed game during the 2006-2007 season in Lebanon.
This article incorporates text from the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.