Elie Mechantaf (in Arabic إيلي مشنتف born in Beirut, Lebanon on October 5, 1970) is a retired Lebanese international basketball player. He started his basketball career in the Cypriot Basketball League, before becoming the captain of the Lebanese Hekmeh BC (Sagesse) basketball club, a leading club of the Lebanese Basketball League for more than ten years, winning the Lebanese Championship for 6 consecutive seasons from 1998 to 2004. Mechantaf was also the team captain of the Lebanon National Basketball Team from 2000 to 2006, also taking part in the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis. He retired in 2008.
Mechantaf was born in Abra (East Saida), the son of Rafiq and Samia Mechantaf. He studied in the South in Saidoun High School, then moved to Beirut and later to Italy where he lived a whole year.
Back in Beirut, he studied at College CIT for 2 years. Then he joined Notre Dame University – Louaize (NDU) for one semester, after which he went to Cyprus playing basketball professionally, starting with EPA Larnaca, Cyprus, in second division, alongside another Lebanese player, Fouad Abou Chacra. He also studied Business Administration at Intercollege Cyprus.
After graduation, he returned to Lebanon and became a player in Amal Bikfaya (in Arabic العمل بكفيا) in 1993. In 1994 he became the captain of Hekmeh BC (also known as Sagesse) (in Arabic نادي الحكمة) winning the Lebanese National Championship, becoming hugely popular. His pan-Arab fame came when Sagesse won the PAN-Arabia Club Championship. In 1999, the FLB (Federation Libanaise de Basketball) formed the Lebanese National Basketball Team, where Mechantaf started as the captain of the national side. Mechantaf took part in the 2002 Basketball World Cup in Indianapolis. He was excluded from the national team in 2006 World Championship in Japan due to alleged doping. He continued playing with Hekmeh until 2007, when he signed with Champville SC becoming the captain of the team. He returned to Hekmeh for a final season in 2008 before retiring.
Records and accolades
- 1996-2002 Lebanese Championship MVP (most valuable player)
- 2000-2003 Lebanon Cup MIP (most improved player)
- 1996, 1998, 2000 Best Arab Player
- 1999, 2001 Best Asian Player