Jahangir Naseem-Men's 5.0 Champion
Growing up in the shadows of squash legends, it's no wonder Jahangir Naseem developed into a quality player. The men's 5.0 National Champion started playing in his early teens while living in Pakistan, a country where “everyone plays squash.” A few years later he headed to Punjab University in Lahore where he played at the No. 1 position his last two years. He led his school to two championships in a very competitive arena.
After getting his master's degree in Pakistan, Naseem sought out additional education, which brought him to the US. Naseem moved to New York City in 1992 at the age of 24 to take business courses at a community college. A trade off of moving to the US was that he had to stop playing squash, as all of the squash clubs were too expensive for him back then. For nine years, he stayed off the courts.
“I had so much potential, and now I am getting old,” Naseem said. “If I played those nine years, I would probably be No. 1 or No. 2 in the US.”
Though not No. 1 in the nation, Naseem is clearly at the top of the men's 5.0. He claimed the crown without dropping a game in the entire tournament, defeating New York's David Vogel in a final that was a match of attrition. Vogel did display a move that would qualify for a championship highlights reel—a dramatic double pump fake forehand that he learned from Clive Leach. Naseem, however, had that shot—and almost every other one of Vogel's—covered.
“This is my first time playing in the Nationals and my first time winning,” said Naseem who plays squash about six days a week, training with Lucky Odeh at Meadow Mill in Baltimore. Naseem also owns a convenience store in Baltimore, called 7-Twelve, and hopes to open more stores by the same name. Aside from playing squash, Naseem is enjoying pursuing his other passions: doing business and making money.