Pronouncing the Panthers: Farokhmanesh and Ahelegbe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pronouncing the Panthers: Farokhmanesh and Ahelegbe


PORTLAND, OREGON (KWWL)-- Pronouncing a few of the University of Northern Iowa Panthers names can be a tongue twister.

Junior Ali Farokhmanesh and Sophomore Kwadzo Ahelegbe are two players on the teams roster

and for their teammates, coaches and even television announcers, it's a been a challenge.

Watch the video to see hear

You name it, the players have heard it.

"You hear so many different ones I couldn't go through all of 'em. But it gets pretty bad." "I think our favorite one was Farokhmamomesh," said guard Ali Farokhmanesh.

UNI guards Kwadzo Ahelegbe and Ali Farokhmanesh have made names for themselves this year. Names that no one seems able to pronounce.

Name that stump Purdue announcer Larry Clisby. "One of our managers was putting the Northern Iowa lineup on the board and I saw the first one go up and I said, holy schmoly, what's that?"

The challenge may have Clisby saying numbers instead of names.

"Man, I can't even listen to it sometimes because they butcher it so bad," said Clisby.  

Clisby is not alone. Even those closest to the back court buddies struggle.

"I knew Kwadzo's name was Kwadjo, but I had no idea how he spelled it," said Freshman guard Johnny Moran. ''And when I saw it on paper I didn't know what it was."

"I will say that it took Ali probably about four years of his life to figure out how to say his own name," said Ali's mom, Cindy Fredrick.

As for the origins, Farokhmanesh is Iranian while Ahelegbe comes from Ghana. And on college basketball's biggest stage Thursday, the entire country will get the chance to learn the names Ahelegbe and Farokhmanesh.

For more on Bryan's trip to the NCAA in Portland, visit his blog

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

Online Producer: Michelle Caldwell


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