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How Lane Tech Jr. is helping baseball grow in Pakistan

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Baseball is an international sport, but there is still room for expansion. One of the countries he’s trying to break into is Pakistan, where he’s known for his prowess on the cricket pitch.

Lane Tech Jr. Amaan Khan is part of that effort.

Sixteen-year-old right-hander Khan pitched for the Pakistan national team during his two-game stay in the qualifying tournament for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Pakistan were eliminated in his 7–4 defeat to Argentina on 30 September and to Nicaragua on 2 October, when he lost 12–0, but Panama’s game in Panama City was enough to keep them from qualifying. It was a new step for the emerging baseball nation that also participated. for the 2017 event.

Khan, who allowed two runs in an inning against Nicaragua, is enjoying his role in the future of baseball in Pakistan.

“It means a lot because you can see the game grow. [in Pakistan]said Khan. “You can help make an impact there. There were a lot of people who reached out after the game and sent a lot of love. I hope that I can give something to children around the world to show them that baseball can be played no matter where they come from.

“I think it helped a lot.”

Before Khan could contribute to the Pakistan national team, he had to get on that radar.

In his sophomore year, Khan stood out on Lane Tech’s JV team and was named best pitcher. That resume was helpful, but Khan also tweeted an outing that was spotted by the Pakistan Baseball Federation, who received a message directly from the federation saying he had an opportunity to play for the national team.

“Social media, especially Twitter, is an important vehicle for athletes,” says Khan. “It’s a way to reach out to coaches and they’ll reach out to you.”

The stocky, right-handed Khan’s arsenal includes a fastball, a changeup, his “go-to” curve, a slider he’s been working on. He hopes to advance to the Lane Tech varsity team this spring and play college. He wants to keep attacking the game mentally and gain confidence on the mound.

“He’s just starting to really grow into his body until he’s stronger and more in control,” said Sean Freeman, Lane Tech’s varsity coach. His advantage is that he continues to gain control, he’s already throwing strong, but there’s a lot more to tank as he continues to grow over the next few years.”

One area where he doesn’t need to add much is maturity.

Freeman called Khan “a young man on his feet.” He cited Khan’s volunteer work at camps and in the Little League Challengers program, an adapted version of the sport for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Knowing Khan convinced Freeman that he was mature enough to handle pitching in high-profile tournaments against teams with players twice his age.

“We have a lot of great kids, but he’s definitely a step above the average high school player,” Freeman said. “He is never too tall [or] too low. He is very calm and calm. I knew he could compete.No matter what happened,he stayed within himself and gave chances.That’s what he did.

In fact, Khan knows the importance of playing for the Pakistani team, something he wanted to do since he was young.

“It’s cool to be a role model. I just want to inspire kids to keep playing the game, regardless of where they come from or what background they have,” Khan said. “Pakistan is primarily a cricket country. There are kids out there who want to go there but just don’t know and just keep playing and show what they have.”


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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