2 US basketball players hope to return to team in Iran

The agent for two Americans who play professional basketball in Iran hopes they will be able to return to the country to finish their season.

J.P. Prince and Joseph Jones remain in Dubai, where they were during a break when President Donald Trump temporarily suspended immigration from seven majority Muslim countries. Iran is among them and officials there threatened retaliation against the U.S., including limiting visas to U.S. citizens.

Agent Eric Fleisher said Monday his understanding is Americans with valid visas will be allowed to re-enter Iran, and two American players did Sunday. The visas for Prince and Jones, however, have expired.

“The team unfortunately didn’t do it properly and so now they have to renew the visas and the question becomes whether they will be allowed to renew their visa,” Fleisher said.

“If not, they won’t be allowed to enter back into Iran. Their things are still in Iran. They won’t be able to continue for the remainder of the season with the club. If they can renew their visa, then presumably they’ll be allowed to re-enter and everything will be OK, but I don’t have an answer as of yet.”

Prince played at Tennessee from 2007-10, Jones played for Texas A&M from 2004-08 and both have played professionally in various countries. Fleisher said it is usually the club’s responsibility to arrange visas for all players.

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