Everyone in West Plains knows about the Missouri State-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team. In fact, the team has a regional, even national, reputation for excellence. Anyone attending a Grizzly Basketball game this year couldn’t help but notice the player wearing the No. 15 jersey, a 6-foot, 11-inch forward named Farbod Farman from the country of Iran.
In December, Farbod’s parents traveled from Iran to West Plains to see their son, spending almost two months in the United States. At the end of their visit in late January, Mr. and Mrs. Farman stopped by the office of Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett to say good-bye. Farbod accompanied his parents in order to translate. As they met over a cup of coffee, Farbod’s parents confided to the chancellor that they had been very worried about their son coming to the United States; however, they assured him that they were no longer worried. As her son translated, and with tears running down her face, Mrs. Farman told Chancellor Bennett how everyone in West Plains had been so nice and friendly. She said that everyone on the campus – the professors, staff and the other students – had been so outgoing and helpful. The Farmans said they were relieved to know their son was getting an excellent education in addition to the opportunity to play basketball.
For example, Farbod had told his parents of the attention that his coaches give to monitoring the players’ class attendance and the required study program for student athletes. He also had told them about his “home-away-from-home” with his host family, another wonderful feature of the Grizzly Athletics program. Chancellor Bennett said it was humbling and touching for him to observe the unconditional love these parents had for their son. “Just as any of us would be about our own children, they were thoroughly happy about Farbod’s well-being and the excellent care he is receiving in West Plains,” Bennett said.
Reflecting on that visit, Chancellor Bennett commented that “We at Missouri State-West Plains want those who invest with us in education to take what they have learned and change their world for the better. During that visit with the Farmans, I experienced a very real example of just how Missouri State-West Plains is helping to change the world for the better. When it was time to say good-bye, Mr. Farman shook my hand and called me friend. He said he would be going back to his country with a different view of the United States. As Farbod and his parents walked out the door, I knew Missouri State-West Plains had made the world a better place.”