Local Los Angeles Resident Zaman Molla Draws on his Iranian Roots to Improve Table Tennis in the US

By Barbara Wei | Aug. 16, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

2014 LA Open

Local Los Angeles Resident Zaman Molla Draws on his Iranian Roots to Improve Table Tennis in the US

Zaman MollaAlthough 34 year old Zaman Molla (2580) may not be the favorite to take home the title at this weekend’s 2014 Butterfly Los Angeles Open, his passion and determination for growing and improving table tennis in the U.S. cannot be matched.

Unlike many top players from the US and around the world, Zaman did not start playing table tennis until the age of 15. In his home country of Iran, the young Zaman was slotted as a future star soccer player. However, a trip to a local community center with table tennis tables sparked his interest, and soon the delinquent Zaman started skipping soccer practice to watch the Iranian national table tennis team practice. Due to his age, most people did not believe Zaman would be able to become a great player, but he obviously proved them wrong when at the age of 17, he made the Iranian national team for the first time. Over the decade or so, Zaman would play table tennis professionally first on the Iranian national team, and then in one of his country’s the top professional leagues.

Zaman first came to the U.S. in 2008 to play in a series of friendly matches with American table tennis clubs, and moved permanently to the California area in 2012. Since his move, Zaman has focused his energy on developing the new generation of top American table tennis players. As head coach of the Alameda Table Tennis Club in Northern California, Zaman drastically improved the level of play of his young students from amateur to nationally ranked competitors. Zaman has since moved back to the Los Angeles area, and has opened his own club (Zaman Table Tennis Club) to further grow and improve America’s young generation of competitors. In addition to attracting young juniors to his club, Zaman hopes to start a professional league to further grow the sport.

Zaman’s determined attitude years ago in Iran led him to a life time of table tennis enjoyment, and his continued focus on the sport can only be beneficial for the American table tennis community.

Continual coverage of the 2014 Butterfly Los Angeles Open and stories about the athletes will be available at butterflyonline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s twitter and facebook pages.