Who is Amin Elhassan?
Amin Elhassan is a Sudan-born sports commentator based in the United States who is currently working at the global cable and satellite sports television channel ESPN as an on-air commentator. He regularly appears on a number of ESPN shows including 'His and Hers', 'SportsCenter', 'Mike & Mike', 'The Jump' and 'SportsNation'. He also co-hosts a show on ESPN Radio with Izzy Gutierrez. He was previously an assistant director of basketball operations for the Phoenix Suns, and had also worked there as the video coordinator and the scouting coordinator. While working as a video coordinator, his job responsibility included recording every single basketball game that was being played. Before joining the Suns, he had a field marketing job with the Atlanta Hawks and worked in game-day operations for three seasons. He is very active on the social media platform Twitter, where he regularly interacts with his followers in his unique bare-bones style. He is particularly known for his entertaining but aggressive jibes via the #HateHard hashtag on the platform, which he had started as an inside joke to spread hate on players when he worked for teams. It has survived for years to become his signature style even at ESPN.
Rise to Stardom
While pursuing his engineering degree at Georgia Tech, Amin Elhassan realized that his interest in the subject was due to the fact that he sought a secure job with a handsome paycheck, unlike many of his peers who were genuinely interested in becoming an engineer. This realization encouraged him to look for other opportunities, which eventually led to a field marketing job with the Atlanta Hawks NBA team. While it was not a high profile job, he enjoyed his new job position and was able to make useful connections, which later helped him settle into a job in the sports industry. He was eventually promoted to work in game-day operations for the Hawks for three seasons.
During the 2004-05 season, he interned in basketball operations for the team New York Knicks. He next took a full-time internship with the Phoenix Suns, where he was given more and more responsibilities, first as video coordinator, then as scouting coordinator, and eventually worked under team general manager Steve Kerr as the franchise's assistant director of basketball operations. He decided to join another NBA front office in the spring of 2012, following which he left Phoenix Suns and looked for other options. During this time, he was asked to write a sample article as a freelancer by an editor at ESPN.com whom he knew. Utilizing his front office experience and connections, he wrote an impressive article which helped him bag a 10-article freelance job offer.
In December 2013, he joined ESPN as a fulltime employee and has been working for the network ever since. Despite the fact that he lacks extensive knowledge of strategy like an ex-coach and unaware of locker-room dynamics like ex-players, he prides himself on his above-average expertise on different areas of basketball and has become a unique jack-of-all-trades analyst at ESPN, juggling a number of duties.
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Controversies & Scandals
Amin Elhassan, who is known for his no-holds-barred barbs and trolling comments on social media, has created controversy many times for his behavior on-screen or on the internet. In February 2016, he walked off in the middle of an ESPN Radio show that he co-hosts with Izzy Gutierrez after an argument over Peyton Manning turned ugly. He continued the verbal war on Twitter for a while before returning to the show to apologize to the listeners.
In August 2016, he was criticized after he made fun of the reaction video of WWE wrestler Kevin Owens' 8-year-old son posted by his wife after his win at the 'WWE Universal Title'. He received backlash for his comment "Until someone told him it was scripted" on the video showing the boy crying in happiness watching his father win.
However, a more serious issue that has hassled him for long is the fact that despite spending most of his life in the US, he is still not an American citizen, which has cast a shadow over his long-term career prospect in the country.
Amin Elhassan was born on April 12, 1979 in Sudan. His parents moved to New York City when he was still an infant. Around the time he was eight, he moved back to Sudan, but returned to New York at the age of 14 to attend high school. While he was very much interested in sport as a child, he never considered a career in sports. Also a studious child, he excelled at math and science and decided to pursue a career in engineering instead. After completing his school graduation, he enrolled into an engineering course at Georgia Tech.