Interview: Adversity Is Hamdanís Middle Name
By: Scott Hurrey 
Posted: 2005-05-13
Category: Washington Redskins News
Going into week four of the NFL Ė Europe season, Gibran Hamdan led the league in passing touchdowns and boasted an 87.4 quarterback rating. He was a key reason why the Amsterdam Admirals offense led the league in scoring.

With a year with the Admirals already under his belt, Hamdan came into this season with a lot of confidence, and won the starting job in training camp. ďIt felt really good to me. It was obviously a long process and I felt like I was doing a good job. More so than anything, I felt like it was my team from training camp.Ē

Then adversity struck the 24-year old signal caller. Early in the second quarter of their 37-24 victory over the Cologne Centurions, the Admirals found themselves on the 1-yard line looking to tie the game at 17. Head Coach Bert Andrus called a quarterback sneak, and the 6í6Ē 240-pound quarterback drove into the end zone for a touchdown. The score was tied, but it was costly. In the fracas, Hamdan broke his right collarbone, prematurely ending his season.

Now instead of gunning for a World Bowl title, the Indiana grad finds him self on an 8-week hiatus waiting for the bone to heal. ďOnce that gets done then I will start rehabbing the shoulder and trying to get throwingĒ, Gibran said. ďIím hoping that I will be ready for training camp. Thatís the goal right now.Ē

Training camp will provide the second-year quarterback with yet another chance to fight through adversity to prove himself. Shortly after Hamdan got hurt, the Seahawks selected David Greene from Georgia in the third round of the draft. With the selection of Greene and the incumbent backup Seneca Wallace still in the picture, Gibran will be facing an uphill battle in camp, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

ďIím at a point now where as a quarterback I feel like the Seahawks organization believes in me as a player, and they are going to give me every opportunity to compete in training camp. Thatís really all I can ask for.Ē Hamdan added, ďI know itís a numbers game ultimately, but Iím finally developing into the quarterback that I believe I can be and Iím in a situation where I believe the team is going to give me a chance to compete.Ē

Adversity is nothing new to Hamdan. Itís something he and his family have dealt with all of their lives. Gibran was born in San Diego, CA and shortly there after, they moved back to their native Kuwait. On August 2, 1990 while on vacation in the United States, Iraq invaded Kuwait, forcing the Hamdans to abandon their life and start anew. That experience has shaped the way Hamdan sees adversity.

ďItís something that I can always look back on, not so much from my own standpoint, but from my parentsí standpoint. To see what they had to deal with, and the fact that they had two kids to worry about and raise, I can always look back at that and say, you know thatís more adversity than Iíve ever gone through in my life.Ē

Gibranís adversity didnít end there. Hamdan spent his freshman and sophomore years at North Potomacís Winston Churchill High School. Gibranís first sport was baseball, and the baseball coach was also the JV football coach. When Hamdan tried out for football, the coach made it clear that he thought Gibran should concentrate on baseball, and forget about football. After two years in what he felt was a negative atmosphere, he decided to transfer to Bishop OíConnell, a private high school in Arlington, VA.

Hamdan said of the transfer: ďI enjoyed the game and I think at a young age you want to enjoy playing games and not have to worry about your career so much, and I wasnít. My transfer came from that aspect, that I didnít really like being in the negative atmosphere and going and playing. The fact is, I wasnít that good at the time, but I donít think thatís a reason to tell someone they shouldnít play a sport.Ē

Shortly before THN interviewed Hamdan, an offensive tackle from Indiana that had played with Gibran, left him a voice mail message, which said: ďGibran, this is exactly what your career has been about the whole time; itís dealing with adversity and the fact that you are still hanging in there and still going through it.Ē

That statement rings true to Gibran, and the underlying positive message from that teammate helped him put his latest bouts with adversity in perspective. ďI went to Indiana and didnít start for four years and stuck through it. I went to Washington and did everything I was asked and it didnít work out, so from a standpoint of adversity being part of my career, itís something that has happened the whole time. I feel like thatís one of my strengths right now is dealing with that and keeping a positive outlook.Ē

With that type of attitude, Hamdan will find success in the NFL; itís only a matter of time.

-Scott Hurrey

Scott Hurrey is a Senior Writer for Scott can be contacted via email at
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